Parsha Toldot — Lies and Distortion

Jeffrey Levine
12 min readNov 16, 2023

Parsha Toldot, the sixth weekly Torah portion in the book of Genesis (Bereishit), primarily focuses on the lives of Isaac, Rebekah, and their twin sons, Jacob and Esau. Here is a summary:

Rebekah’s Pregnancy:

  • Rebekah, Isaac’s wife, is barren, but after Isaac prays for her, she conceives.
  • During her pregnancy, she experiences a struggle within her womb, and God reveals that two nations are in her womb.

Birth of Esau and Jacob:

  • Esau is born first, followed by Jacob, who is holding onto Esau’s heel.
  • Esau becomes a skilful hunter, while Jacob is described as a quiet dweller in tents.

Esau Sells His Birthright:

  • Esau, returning from the field hungry, sells his birthright to Jacob for a bowl of lentil stew.
  • This transaction establishes Jacob’s position as the one through whom the Abrahamic covenant will continue.

Isaac’s Sojourn in Gerar:

  • Famine prompts Isaac to go to Gerar, mirroring his father Abraham’s journey during a famine.
  • Isaac initially lies about Rebekah being his sister (as Abraham did about Sarah) but is later confronted by Abimelech, the king of Gerar.

Isaac’s Prosperity:

  • Despite challenges, Isaac becomes prosperous in Gerar, and the Philistines become envious of his success.
  • Isaac digs wells, which lead to disputes with the local shepherds.

Esau’s Marriage and Jacob’s Deception:

  • Esau marries two Hittite women, causing distress to Isaac and Rebekah.
  • Isaac plans to bless Esau, but Rebekah, favoring Jacob, devises a plan for Jacob to receive the blessing instead.

Jacob’s Blessing and Esau’s Anguish:

  • Disguised as Esau, Jacob receives the blessing from Isaac, who is deceived by the feel of Jacob’s hands.
  • Esau returns, realizing the deception, and expresses deep sorrow over losing the blessing.

Esau’s Intention to Kill Jacob:

  • Rebekah learns of Esau’s intention to kill Jacob, prompting her to send Jacob away to her brother Laban in Haran for safety.

Parsha Toldot explores themes of family dynamics, sibling rivalry, blessings, and the unfolding of the Abrahamic covenant through the lives of Isaac and his sons, Jacob and Esau.

The Water Challenge

The dispute over water wells is a significant event in the narrative of Parsha Toldot, specifically involving the patriarch Isaac. In this parsha, we learn about a series of disputes between Isaac and the local Philistines over the ownership of wells:

  1. Isaac’s First Well: After the death of his father Abraham, Isaac reopens the wells that Abraham had dug in the area of Gerar. However, the Philistines claim that the water from the first well belongs to them, leading to a dispute. Isaac eventually names this well Esek, which means “contention” or “dispute.”
  2. Isaac’s Second Well: Isaac then moves on to dig another well, but once again, there is a dispute with the Philistines over ownership. He names this well Sitnah, which means “enmity” or “hatred.”
  3. Isaac’s Third Well: Isaac relocates and digs a third well, and this time there is no dispute. He names it Rehoboth, which means “spacious” or “room,” signifying that there is now room for them to coexist without conflict.

These well disputes illustrate the challenges and conflicts faced by Isaac and his family in the land of Gerar, highlighting the importance of water sources in the arid region and the ongoing tension between the descendants of Abraham and the local inhabitants. Eventually, the Philistine king, Abimelech, recognizes that God is with Isaac, and he makes a covenant of peace with him, marking the end of these disputes. This story emphasizes the theme of divine providence and the eventual resolution of conflicts through peaceful agreements.

The disputes over water wells in the story of Isaac in Parsha Chayei Sarah offer several valuable lessons that can be applied to our times

Lies and distortion

In this week’s Parsha, we have two scenes that stick out in our minds or stick out in history.

One is of Issac and Rebecca praying. Now, what were they praying for? They were praying for a child, a son, to carry on the world, their world, carry on their good which was started by their father. And we pray. What are we praying for?

Now, I think we need to get some thought into exactly what we’re praying for. What are we praying for now? or were we praying for before October 7th?. That is scene one.

Scene two is we have lies and distortion.

Could be a small lie, a white lie, a big white lie. We have the scene of Rivka, where Yaakov is encouraged by his mother to get the blessings from his father Isaac. And we have this terrible scene after when Esau comes in and he is shocked, traumatized by the fact that his brother took his blessing.

And that is conflict. This is, and this is a conflict that has not ceased until today, where Yaakov represents the Jewish people and Esau represents the Christian people. And we see today how distorted lies continue by the so-called Western media and intellects and rabid anti-Semites like George Holloway and Roger Waters who said the 7th of October Massacre is exaggerated. Show us the proof. Whatever it is, that’s bullshit.

Unfortunately, we’ve heard so many stories that this has shocked our core. And even today there are many hundreds of bodies not identified because they were killed and mutilated. It’s disgusting. And let’s not stop here.

“But why are we surprised? Why do we expect that what has always been will miraculously cease to be?

By what miracle would those who burned the Jews of Strasbourg in 1349, murdered their neighbors in Barcelona in 1391, or set fire to Jewish dwellings in Baghdad in 1948, not have successors in 2023? Who can believe that the Cossacks, the Einsatzkommandos, Stalin’s agents, or the Almohad troops acted only with motives and circumstances specific to a particular time or group?” add to this Hebron 1929 and many others.

So today , when we see the UN and the WHO complicity in Hamas crimes, and the media as their cheerleaders, we should not be shocked. It is a continual of the old hate..

Let’s just quickly look at what the BBC reported last Friday. They reported that the IDF attacked an upscale neighbourhood in Gaza. Ooh, so Gaza had upscale neighbourhoods. Life wasn’t so bad there. And they described how that life would never be the same. But let’s look at another article that came up in my Facebook feed. It was sent to me. It was an article sent to me by a work colleague. And he said his son was serving in the engineering unit in Gaza. And they went into this upscale neighbourhood and found a house. And the house, this is a fancy house with a pool. And the house was an entrance to an underground tunnel of destruction. Attack tunnels. I wouldn’t even call them defense tunnels. I’d call them whatever.

And this is the thing. They’ve chosen the side of Evil. The Gazan government embezzling the money that they got from international aid, have chosen to build these tunnels to attack and destroy Israel.

“For too long international agencies and officials have been tacitly complicit with Hamas’s long-standing abuse of hospitals as human shields,” said Prime Minister’s Office Spokesman Eylon Levy at a press briefing.

“We are demanding full accountability from them. What did you know? Why did you not say anything? Why do you continue to do propaganda for Hamas instead of doing your jobs?” he asked.

And if we’re just talking about the BBC, where I go to get my sports scores on a Saturday night, and I expect fair coverage. They do not have fair coverage because they didn’t even mention these tunnels under this fancy area. You can’t call a spade a spade. So, these are my initial thoughts as I start the week. The week with the news that five more soldiers, and of course not civilians, fathers, educators, influencers, people were killed. And as the world calls for ceasefire, and labels Israel with war crimes.

Yes. There might be panic and suffering on the Gaza side, but there’s also a lot of suffering on the Israeli side. We’re fighting for truth versus fighting against evil.

And talk about blame. See this Letter written in 1945 From the White House putting the blame on the unwarranted attack !!

White House Letter 1945

There were 4 million Germans Killed compared to 400,000 British?.

Was that proportional?. Was that fair?

WORLDWIDE CASUALTIES = WW2*

Battle Deaths 15,000,000

Battle Wounded 25,000,000

Civilian Deaths 45,000,000

https://www.nationalww2museum.org/students-teachers/student-resources/research-starters/research-starters-worldwide-deaths-world-war

The blame of the war started with the decision of Hitler to launch the war. The same with the Japanese. The blame for the deaths of their people are with their leaders when they chose to attack Pearl Harbor and more. And chose not to surrender. So yes, you want to call the ceasefire. And blame Israel. But the blame for these civilian deaths is not on Israel’s doorstep. It is on the hands of Hamas. It is on the institutions that support Hamas. And it’s sickening to how many are now saying, oh, Israel’s to blame. No. It’s Hamas to blame. You didn’t blame the Allies when they bombed Dresden, did you? There was no other option. There’s no other option here. So, stop whining and start to put the blame in the right place. Blame Hamas. Call for immediate ceasefire and for Hamas surrender. Put up the white flags. White flags. Surrender. Yes, there will be a ceasefire immediately. Want a ceasefire? Get Hamas to surrender. Return our brothers and sisters (Hostages) in good health. Let my people Go.

Another thought, the UN , UNWRA, and WHO hidden agendas have been exposed. The emperor has no clothes. They seek to deflect their responsibility for a just world on the oppressed. They seek to escape responsibility by inverting the truth. They have failed to makethe world peaceful. Just look at the the failure in meeting their own goals of the UN SDGs.

Just wait till all the facts of the WHO Run Shifa Hospital comes out. That is why there was much opposition to the IDF entering this Hamas military base dressed up as a Hospital.

The question is, is the world a more moral place than 80 years ago?. Let’s put it another way, in another way. During the Second World War, under Churchill, many cites in Germany were carpet bombed, and killing, let’s say, 4 million German civilians. They viewed this as a necessary fight against evil. And the same comparison can be made against the Americans with a nuclear bomb in Japan. Now, we’ve seen that in those times that the blame for this was fully put on the leaders of Germany, Hitler, and Japan for starting the war, for mot ending the war, and not surrendering. So fast forward to today. We have seen many genocides, mass desecration of people in Syria and other Arab countries. And we never saw the same kind of outcries we’re seeing now, where 10,000 Palestinians have died. How they died, we’re not quite sure. They could have been civilians, or terrorists, or militants, or whatever you call them. We don’t know. The facts are not clear. You can look it up and see what Melanie Phillips wrote. But the question remains, Israel is getting criticized on this point, saying the civilian casualties are too high. Babies are being killed.

BBC

And you can see this headline on the BBC, concerned about babies at that, the Shifa Hospital, where terrorists are holding up.

What about the Israeli babies being hostage? Where is the Red Crescent? Where is the WHO when it concerns Israeli rights?

As I’m thinking about these words, the planning for freedom of Shifa Hospital is going on. So, one article says, no, there are only civilians there, and if that’s the case, then it would be a walk in the park. They could just walk in, and just see what’s going on, and there would be no battles. But unfortunately, it’s further from the truth. So, and then you have, obviously, the big occupation, line distortion, which Israel is to blame for, not providing the water , food and electricity. This myth has been debunked.

So, but let’s go back to the key question now. Has war become more moral in our times? And I’d say, we’d like to think so, but the actions of 7th of October were just too extreme to consider any other approach. And there was a video that circulated on LinkedIn, a copy of the link, a young student, a Jewish student, who declares the educational basis of diversity, inclusion, and prevalence in California, and all these universities, and basically people are lumped as oppressors, and people who are being oppressed, groups of people, whites are viewed as oppressors, and blacks are being oppressed.

Stanford Student

https://www.linkedin.com/posts/activity-7129521179211530242-fq5u/?utm_source=share&utm_medium=member_android

And there’s no greater example in the eyes of the world today of the twisted history and facts of the Jews being in the category of the oppressor. And when we see the psychological war that has taken place in the minds of these youngsters, where they view Jews as the ultimate evil, then we probably cannot be surprised by the reaction that they celebrated the death of the Jews without even knowing the facts, the barbarity of it, and everything going on there. So, this is very sad. So, in reality, the world is in need of moral guidance and clarity.

And we see this war is not only a physical war, but it’s a spiritual war. And it’s also an online war, a cyber war, whatever it is, fought in many fronts. People who have no business interfering have taken sides, and siding with evil. And you can just see this clear cause, anti-Semitism, and calling to kill Jews. It’s not a secret anymore. And so, the anti-Semites have come out of the closet. And it’s incredibly sad to see. So, we are fighting over the existence of all morals. And this is the battle we are fighting.

The Moral clarity call

What is interesting in these false calls for the ceasefire is that continued military action by Israel undermine the faith of the Palestinians for peace in the future. So, I’m sorry to say, the October 7th massacre has undermined my faith in peace for the future and I’m sure many others.

But let’s look at another phenomenon that’s happening, that we compare the actions of the Allies to Germany and to Japan, where in Germany there were many more civilian deaths than in the British, and in Japan we had a nuclear bomb and a clear targeting of civilians.

In both cases, Germany and Japan, they did not harbour resentment from this, they both realised they were wrong, and they moved on, they moved on to a peaceful path.

It’s unfortunate, there is a time for war and the time for peace and now the time for war, and on the contrary, we’ve seen history, after wars there is peace. This war isn’t so terrible. We’ve had, let’s say, and you want to have a scorecard, 2,000 Jewish martyrs versus 10,000 Palestinians. Now, as I said, you need to refer it back to Melanie Philips article that analyses the 10,000 or supposed deaths, and it’s not so clear that it was to cause this and kill the blame, it’s that those people started the war. So even in the humanitarian scale, it’s not a large number. Lets call a spade a spade, it’s like proportional damage happened, you know, the decision of Hamas to wreak havoc and war, and then the death toll versus 10,000, 20,000, that’s not a very large number compared the numbers killed in Ukraine , Syria, Yemen wars., I’m sorry. Yes, and it’s sad to look at the pictures of Gaza and the destroyed buildings, but you know what, next time, they think twice before they attack us.

And where is the Global outcry over these deaths In Ukraine and Ethiopia?

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine resulted in at least 82,000 deaths in 2022, the study estimated. But even more deaths were reported in Ethiopia — over 104,000 — in that conflict between the national government and regional forces in Tigray.

I had never heard of that war in Ethiopia. Have you?

I just read that the conflict in Ethiopia has a much higher death toll. This was started two years ago. Where are worldwide protests? Where is the UN?

https://english.elpais.com/international/2023-01-27/ethiopias-forgotten-war-is-the-deadliest-of-the-21st-century-with-around-600000-civilian-deaths.html

The death toll in the Syrian civil war ranged from around 400,000 to over 600,000 people.

it was estimated that hundreds of thousands of people had died as a result of the conflict in Yemen.

So, why pick on the Israeli / Jews rights to defend themselves?

It is sad that we have wars and that humanity is so messed up.

Unfortunately, war, is necessary from time to time, and the war that Israel is engaging is a call for moral clarity, and that’s what the West doesn’t get, and in this fight, and if this fight does not end in the correct way, then forces of evil will just dominate.

Am Yisrael Chai.

Time to stand for a better and fairer world.

All images sourced from social media.

--

--

Jeffrey Levine

Jeffrey Levine provides CFO, Director, ESG Advisory Services through www.persofi.com and is a promoter of ideas and trends where Innovation meets ESG