Parshas Toldos Sweets and Treats
In this week’s Torah portion, Parshas Toldos, Yitzchak and Rivka try for 20 years to have a child before Hashem answers their prayers and she becomes pregnant with twins. When she feels the babies seemingly fighting inside her, Hashem tells her that she is carrying two nations in her womb. Eisav is born first and is covered in red hair. Yaakov is born holding onto Eisav’s heel. While Eisav grows to be a hunter and man of the field, Yaakov can be found learning in tents. Eisav is the favorite of his father, Yitzchak, while Rivka favors Yaakov. One day Eisav returns hungry from his day in the field and finds Yaakov cooking a red lentil stew. He sells his birthright to Yaakov for the pot of lentil stew.
A famine hits the land and Yitzchak and his family move to Gerar, the land of the Plishtim. When they enter the land, Yitzchak tells the people that Rivka is his sister, out of fear that they will kill him because she is so beautiful. After they had been there a while, the king Avimelech sees them together and realizes that they are married. After confronting Yitzchak he issues a decree that no one is to hurt Yitzchak and Rivka. While in Gerar, Yitzchak farms the land and his crops miraculously multiply to 100 times that which he planted. He becomes extremely wealthy and the locals become jealous and he is expelled. Yitzchak reopens the wells dug by his father Avraham, and digs some of his own wells. He called the last well Rechovot (translated as open spaces) as it was the only one not disputed by the Plishtim. After leaving to Beer Sheva, Avimelech approaches Yitzchak and requests a peace treaty which he is granted.
Yitzchak grows old and he becomes blind. He tells Eisav that he would like to bless him as the firstborn before he dies. Rivka overhears him and she quickly gets Yaakov and dresses him in goatskins so that Yitzchak will think he is his hairy brother Eisav. While Eisav is hunting for food for his father, Yaakov goes to Yitzchak who blesses him with “the dew of the heaven and the fat of the land” and says that he will rule over his brother and that “those who curse him will be cursed and those who bless him will be blessed.” When Eisav returns for his blessing, Yitzchak realizes that he has given the blessing to Yaakov and he tells Eisav that he will live by his sword and will eventually have a chance to rule over his brother. Eisav was very angry and expresses his wish to kill Yaakov after Yitzchak passes away. Rivka overhears this and she asks Yitzchak to send Yaakov to her brother Lavan to find a non-Cannanite woman to marry (just as Avraham wished for Yitzchak and unlike Eisav who has already married two Cannanite wives that she does not like). Yitzchak sends Yaakov away and promises him that the blessings of Avraham will pass to him and he will inherit the Land of Israel. After Yaakov leaves, Eisav sees that his Cannanite wives are displeasing to his father and he marries a third wife, the daughter of Yishmael.
This week’s parsha is full of symbolic treats and each one has so many possible explanations that it is sure to be a creative week of divrei Torah at our table! This is a good week to bring back my kids’ favorite treats, Bubble Monsters. The two different colored guys can symbolize the two nations struggling in Rivka’s womb, and the twin babies born. I am sure the kids will quickly point out that the red Bubble Monsters symbolize Eisav. They could also symbolize Eisav’s three marriages in this week’s parsha and Yaakov’s journey to find a wife. The feet lollipops symbolize the heel of Eisav that Yaakov was holding onto when he was born, which is the reason for his name. Awesome Twosome candies fit well with this theme of the twins as well, and are covered in red although the insides are different (reminiscent of Yaakov’s dressing as Eisav to receive his father’s blessing). Red Twizzler Pull and Peel or Lasso Ropes can symbolize the red hair that Eisav was born with as well as the red lentil stew that Eisav trades his birthright for. They can also symbolize the hair that Yaakov put on his arms to appear like Eisav to his father. Lentil candies can also symbolize the lentil stew. Of course, if you are looking for a healthy alternative, you could cook lentil stew for your Shabbat meal! Blue jellybeans symbolize the water in the many wells dug in this week’s Torah portion. The blue and white candies could symbolize the dew of the heaven that Yaakov was blessed with, the Land of Israel that Yaakov is promised as his inheritance, as well as the baby boys born in this week’s parsha. Perhaps they might also look like pearls and symbolize the riches that Yitzchak amassed. What creative ideas have you come up with? Share them in the comments below!