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Hebrew Calendar

5776
Yom Sheini
27th of Heshvan

Gregorian Calendar

2015
Monday
November 9th

Tishrei | Heshvan | Kislev | Tevet | Shevat | Adar | Nissan | Iyar | Sivan | Tammuz | Av | Elul
Jan | Feb | Mar | Apr | May | June | July | Aug | Sept | Oct | Nov | Dec

SKINNY RECAP

Read or Reread

In the Beginning: Creation of the 5-day work week and the 2-day weekend.
Noah: Big flood. No drought.
The Jewish Start-up Nation: The Israelites become a unicorn company.
Doing-Good and Good-Doing: Do the right thing. Just because.
Abraham & Sarah: The husband-wife power couple.

PARSHA HASHAVUAH

GELND | BSVBD


1st Book 
Genesis  | Bereisheit (In the Beginning)

2nd Book 
Exodus | Shemot (The Names)
3rd Book 
Leviticus | Vayikra (And God called)
4th Book 
Numbers | Bamidbar (In the desert)
5th Book 
Deuteronomy | Devarim (The Words)


Weekly Torah Reading:
GENESIS: 25:19 - 28:9 | TOLDOT
 
SKINNY TIP: 
Chapter, Colon, Verse, which means 25:19 - 28:9 is chapter 25 verse 19 to chapter 28 verse 9.

TOLDOT

THE SKINNY


This week’s Torah portion introduces more early employees of the Jewish start-up nation. You’ll recall from last week’s SKINNY: Abraham and Sarah were the company’s co-founders, followed by their son, Isaac, who was employee #3. This week's Torah portion, Toldot (tole-dote – bossy “e” twins), means generations. It follows the saga of Isaac’s twin sons and has more dysfunction than an episode of Archer. (Check out last week’s SKINNY for a refresh on Isaac).
 
Fast Forward: Isaac is all grown up. At 40 years old, he got tired of JDate (didn’t we all…) and married Rebecca – Rivka in Hebrew – who he met through a very expensive and exclusive matchmaker. After marrying Isaac, Rebecca joined the family business with her hubby and parents-in-law, Abraham and Sarah. She became employee #4 in the Jewish start-up nation’s stellar team of matriarchs and patriarchs.
 
Similar to her mother-in-law, Rebecca also suffered from infertility. After 20 years of monthly let-downs, Rebecca finally got pregnant with twins, but her pregnancy wasn’t easy. At one of her regular check-ups, Dr. God, OBGYN, told her that the reason she was cramping so much was because two nations were in her womb...and they would struggle against each other in life too.
 
When their two-nation twin sons were born, Rebecca and Isaac named the first one Esau, which means: ​hairy, because he was a fiery redhead. The second twin was holding Esau’s heel, so they named him Yaakov — Jacob in English, which means: He who heels (and we don’t mean the Christian Louboutin kind.) Papa Issac and Mama Rebecca were worse parents than Don and Betty Draper. For starters, they played favorites with their twins. Esau was a rebellious trickster who liked hunting and was Isaac’s favorite. Jacob studied at the biblical equivalent of Stanford and was Rebecca’s cerebral mama’s boy.
 
One day, Esau came back from a big-game hunt exhausted and faint with hunger, just as Jacob was cooking a delicious pot of red lentils. Esau begged Jacob for some grub. Jacob agreed on the condition that Esau give him his “birthright” — his inheritance blessing as the firstborn son. Esau didn’t care about any silly birthright. (The Birthright trip to Israel hadn’t been invented yet.)  He readily accepted Jacob’s offer and gobbled up the stew.
 
Years passed:  Papa Isaac was now a really really old man with severely diminished eyesight. He called Esau, his oldest son, and said something like: “I’m about to croak. Go hunting and prepare some delicious gamey-meat for me as my last meal. Cook it like the yummy lamb salad they make at Garibaldis. Then come back so I can give you your birthright inheritance blessing as my first-born son. (Clearly, Isaac didn’t know about his redhead son’s red-lentil-birthright trade of years ago and Esau conveniently didn’t mention it.) 
 
Esau headed out on the hunt, determined to steak-his-claim. (Yes, you grammatical SKINNIES, we meant that as a double entendre.)  Rebecca overheard the conversation and texted: “911” to her favorite son, Jacob. (She also added a whole bunch of exclamation points and some new emoticons she just downloaded from the latest software update.) 
 
Rebecca had a plan. She told Jacob to fetch two young goats for her to cook to resemble the lamb salad that Esau was going to make for his father. Then Jacob would pretend to be Esau and receive the birthright blessing. Jacob worried that the plan was missing some key elements (aside from truthiness). He implored: “Esau is a hairy man and I’m smooth shaven. What if dad touches me? He’ll bust me and curse me instead of blessing me!” Rebecca wasn't deterred. She dressed Jacob in Esau’s clothes and covered him with goat skin so he’d feel hairy to his father’s touch.
 
Jacob did as he was told. (He was a mama’s boy after all.) He pretended to be Esau and, while his father was suspicious, he gave Jacob the blessing intended for Esau. The birthright blessing included: the dew of heaven, the fat of the land, and mastery over his brother. Esau returned from the hunt, went ballistic, and threatened to kill his younger brother. Fearing for the safety of her fav son, Rebecca told Jacob to catch the next Kona Shuttle to hide from Esau’s wrath. And he did.
 
Some commentators believe that Jacob and Esau are prototypes for two types of people: ​​those who are innately good and those who struggle to conquer their inclinations...and we all have some of both in us. We are all both perfectly perfect and perfectly imperfect...sometimes even at the same time. (Team SKINNY also wonders what this Torah portion teaches us about the importance of getting a good estate attorney!)
 
The parenting flaws of Isaac and Rebecca in this Torah portion are numerous. And Judaism has much to say about it. The Talmud (Tall-mood) – a collection of ancient Jewish laws and customs – says if we teach our children the way to go, they will not deviate from that path when they grow up. It even says that parenting is like giving our children a GPS, so they’ll always know which direction to go in life. (We’re paraphrasing here, but you get the gist.)  A SKINNY reader told us that her teenage daughter recently opined: “Parents may not realize it, but they’re teaching their kids things all the time.” When our SKINNY reader hesitantly inquired: “Like what?” Her precious daughter replied: “Always be nice to people, celebrate being Jewish, and whenever you have extra money, spend it on wine.” 
 
Isaac offered his birthright inheritance blessing to Jacob before he died, but the reality is, we give our children “inheritances” every day in the countless ways we model for them what it means to be a person in the world. Every child is a torchbearer of the inheritance blessings we give them…whether we’re aware of them or not. What will be the inheritance blessings you give to your children?
 
SKINNY Parenting TIP:
A new study by the Pew Research Center reveals that a generation ago, stay-at-home moms comprised 46% of two-parent households. Today, 74% of moms work outside the home. With more moms grabbing their trending hobo bags as they head out the door each morning, balancing work and family is squeezing the sanity out of us! (Let's get real:  None of us have time to wait in the frenzied line to buy a Balmain x H&M jacket!) And, in households where both parents work, moms report that they’re still doing more than hubby when it comes to things like managing their kids’ schedules and activities. (Check out RESO. It can help you with that.) Smarty-pants moms have it the worst: Among working mothers with a college or post-graduate degree, 70% say it’s difficult for them to balance work and family life. And a whopping 86% of working moms and 81% of working dads report feeling rushed, at least sometimes. We know the feeling.... One high-powered mom on Team SKINNY stays a step ahead of the rush by pre-writing notes for her kids’ lunches. She writes a bunch of notes ahead of time, hides them in a drawer, and then randomly grabs one for the lunchbox each morning. It saves precious seconds...and we all know how those seconds can add up! Got a SKINNY parenting tip? Share it with us!


 

TEAM SKINNY.