“Have you not reserved a blessing for me?” — Genesis/Breishit 27:34

“…Rebecca, mother of Jacob and Esau.” –Genesis/Breishit 28:5

These two verses tie, in my estimation, in the competition for “most heart-rending verse in the Torah.”

1) A child plaintively begging a parent for a blessing, after learning that another sibling has been blessed, seems to me to need no further comment.

2) The second verse caught my attention when I read this comment in the Stone edition*:

Em yaakov v’esau. Mother of Jacob and Esau. The verse repeats the obvious….it was as the loving mother of both that she wanted Jacob sent away, in order to avert bloodshed between them (Tur).

Tur, BTW, the chumash’s bibliography explains, is the “Code of Jewish law composed by R’ Yaakov, the son of the Rosh (c. 1275-c.1340). The Arba Turim [literally, “four rows”] (which is its full title) is composed for four parts…” (For more on this source, check out this image map and further explanation from the University of Calgary).


*For complete citations and additional sources, please see Source Materials.
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Click on the “WeeklyTorah” tag for more resources on the weekly portion throughout the year, or on a portion name for parashah-specific notes. (The series began with Numbers; posts for Genesis, Exodus and Leviticus are being drafted, week-by-week.) You can also zero-in on particular types of “Opening the Book” posts by clicking Language and Translation, Something to Notice, a Path to Follow, or Great Source in the tag cloud.

The “Opening the Book” series is presented in cooperation with the independent, cross-community Jewish Study Center and with Kol Isha, an open group pursuing spirituality from a woman’s perspective at Temple Micah (Reform). “A Song Every Day” is an independent blog, however, and all views, mistakes, etc. are the author’s.
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Posted by vspatz

Virginia blogs on Jewish topics at "A Song Every Day" and manages the Education Town Hall and #WeLuvBooks sites. More at Vspatz.wordpress.com

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