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Parshat Toldot                                                         November 30, 2019  2 Kislev, 5780
                                                  Rabbi Sacks on Parshat Toldot
              ARTSCROLL 124            There is a strange passage   a treaty. Yet, as we now discover,  attention. The first is the
                  HERTZ  93            in the life of Isaac, ominous  this was not sufficient to prevent   intimation it gives us of what
                                                                                           will later be the turning point
                                                               further difficulties in the days of
                                       in its fore- shadowing of
                                       much of later Jewish    Isaac: Isaac planted crops in that   of the fate of the Israelites in
                  HAFTORAH             history. Like Abraham, Isaac  land and the same year reaped a   Egypt. Avimelekh says, “you
             ARTSCROLL   1137          finds himself forced by   hundredfold, because the Lord   have become too powerful for
                  HERTZ  102           famine to go to Gerar, in   blessed him. The man became   us.” Centuries later, Pharaoh
                                       the land of the Philistines.
                                                                                           says, at the beginning of the
                                                               rich, and his wealth continued to
                                       There, like Abraham, he   grow until he became very   book of Exodus, “Behold, the
                 Bat Mitzvah                                   wealthy. He had so many flocks   people of the children of Israel
                                       senses that his life may be
                                       in danger because he is
                       of                                                     and herds and servants that the   are greater in number and
                 Zoe Brisman           married to a beautiful   Philistines envied him. So, all the   power than we are. Come on,
                                                               wells that his father’s servants
                                       woman. He fears that he
                                                                                           let us deal wisely with them,
                     Times             will be killed so that   had dug in the time of his father   lest they multiply and it come
                                       Rebecca can be taken into
                                                                                           to pass, when there befall any
                                                               Abraham, the Philistines stopped
                                       the harem of king       up, filling them with earth.   war, that they join also with
           Candle Lighting      4:10 pm   Avimelekh. The couple pass                       our enemies and fight against
                                       themselves off as brother   Then Avimelekh said to Isaac,   us, and so get them up out of
           Mincha               4:10 pm   and sister. The deception is   “Move away from us; you have   the land” (1:9–10). The same
                                       discovered, Avimelekh is   become too powerful for us.” So,   word, atzum, “powerful,”
           Hashkama             8:00 am   indignant, explanations are   Isaac moved away from there and   appears in both cases. Our
                                       made, and the moment    encamped in the Valley of Gerar   passage signals the birth of
           Youth Minyan         8:30 am                        and settled there. Isaac reopened
                                       passes. Genesis 26 reads                            one of the deadliest of human
                                       almost like a replay of   the wells that had been dug in the   phenomena, antisemitism.
           Parsha Shiur         8:30 am                        time of his father Abraham, which
                                       Genesis 20, a generation                            Antisemitism is in some
           Main                 9:00 am   later. In both cases   the Philistines had stopped up   respects unique. It is, in
                                                               after Abraham died, and he gave
                                       Avimelekh promises the                              Robert Wistrich’s phrase, the
           Beit Midrash         9:15 am   patriarchs security. To   them the same names his father   world’s longest hatred. No
                                                               had given them. Isaac’s servants
                                       Abraham he said, “My land                           other prejudice has lasted so
           Gemara Shiur         3:30 pm   is before you; live wherever   dug in the valley and discovered a   long, mutated so persistently,
                                                               well of fresh water there. But the
                                       you like” (Gen. 20:15).                             attracted such demonic myths,
           Mincha               4:00 pm   About Isaac, he commands,   herdsmen of Gerar quarreled with   or had such devastating
                                       “Anyone who molests this   Isaac’s herdsmen and said, “The   effects. But in other respects,
           Shabbat Ends         5:18 pm   man or his wife shall surely   water is ours!” So, he named the   it is not unique, and we must
                                       be put to death” (Gen.   well Esek, because they disputed   try to understand it as best we
           R’ Reisman Video     7:30 pm   26:11). Yet in both cases,   with him. Then they dug another   can.
           Shiur                       there is a troubled     well, but they quarreled over that
                                       aftermath. In Genesis 21 we   one also; so, he named it Sitnah.   One of the best books about
           Sun. Dec. 1       7:30/8:30 am   read about an argument   He moved on from there and dug   antisemitism, is in fact not
                                       that arose over a well that   another well, and no one   about antisemitism at all, but
           Mon. & Thurs.     6:35/7:45 am                      quarreled over it. He named it   about similar phenomena in
                                       Abraham had dug: “Then
           Tue., Wed. & Fri   6:45/7:45 am   Abraham complained to   Reĥovot, saying, “Now the Lord   other contexts, Amy Chua’s
           Mincha               4:10 pm   Avimelekh about a well of   has given us room and we will   World on Fire. Her thesis is
                                                                                           that any conspicuously
                                       water that Avimelekh’s   flourish in the land.” (26:12–22)
                   Latest Times for    servants had seized” (Gen.   There are three aspects of this   successful minority will attract
                Shema/Shemoneh Esrei   21:25). The two men make   passage worthy of careful   envy that may deepen into
           Nov. 30          9:20/10:08 am     Kiddush is sponsored by the Brisman Family in honor of the
                                                Bat Mitzvah of their daughter Zoe, Miriam Yaffa Chaya
           Dec. 7           9:25/10:12 am
                                                Bima Flowers are sponsored by  Rabbi Esor Ben-Sorek
                    Next Shabbat
                     Vayeitzei                   in honor of the engagement of his beloved grandson
                                                     Ariel Mattityahu Ben-Sorek to Rebecca Green
           Candle Lighting      4:10 pm
                                                     Seudah Shlishit is sponsored by Albert Halimi
           Mincha               4:10 pm                   in memory of his father Rachamon ben Agha-Baba
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