Toldot, and Who Gets What

Inspiring Critical Thinking and Community via Books, Lessons, and Story

     This week’s Torah portion is Parashat Toldot.  It means, literally, generations, but is really all about Jacob, later known as Israel, and Esav.   This week’s parashah tells the famous story of the “sale” of the birthright for a bowl of lentils, and the later confirmation of that outcome, by  guile.  

   What never seems to be questioned in this parashah is the idea of a birthright, and hierarchy, in the first place.  Why must one be over the other?  How can such rigid hierarchy allow each of us to live up to our full human potential, when it enforces such limitations, rather than cooperation?  Those same limitations also place Jacob in danger, even while not yet considered a full adult.  

   What would you do, and how would you solve this thorny problem of protecting all children, not to mention vulnerable adults, Thoughtful Readers?


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