Parsha Poem: Toldos / Toldot / תּוֹלְדֹת

בראשית / Bereishit / Bereishis / Genesis 25:19-28:9

Printable PDF versions:  Choose Ashkenaz / Sefardi pronunciation. 
Copywork page available here (Ashkenaz only).


Two sons once were born
To the most righteous man;
As different as different,
But that was God’s plan.

In Parshas Toldos
We meet them at first;
The best of the best,
And the worst of the worst.

Two brothers grew up.
Running side by side;
One brother was good,
But the other denied:

“A lifetime of Torah
Is not meant for me;
Instead, I shall go out
Be the best I can be.”

But the best he was not,
Lived a life of deceit;
One of hunting and murder,
So fast on his feet.

“I couldn’t care less
For the Jews or Hashem;
I’ll marry who I want to,
And I’ll daven with them.”

But Yaakov stayed close,
Remained in his tent;
His days full of mitzvos,
In Torah were spent.

The one mitzvah Eisav
Did right all his life
Was to care for his parents;
Served them with his knife.

“Now that there’s my boy,”
Old Yitzchak often crowed.
But Rivka saw clearly
How Eisav’s evil showed.

Wise Rivka understood,
She knew about his tricks
She had a good idea one day
To sort out Yitzchak’s picks.

For Yitzchak was old;
His eyes had lost sight.
Where once he’d seen clearly,
His world was dim as night.

“Come to me, my Eisav,”
From his bed he cried;
“Before this day is over,
Your father will have died.”

“Put on Eisav’s robes,”
Rivka told her son.
“Quickly; before day is out,
A bracha you’ll have won.”

Now Yitzchak was blind;
That much is true,
But the blind can touch,
And Yitzchak knew

That Yaakov’s smooth hands
Weren’t covered in hair;
But Eisav’s rough skin
Had more than its share.

He reached out and touched,
And surely enough,
The hands that he felt there
Were covered in fluff.

But he heard gentle words,
Yitzchak thought it was odd,
To hear such soft speaking
From a hairy façade.

“The hands are the hands,
But the voice is the voice,”
But perhaps he saw clearly,
And just made a choice.

Perhaps, maybe so,
Yitzchak might have known,
Which son must be leader,
And which overthrown.

Realized all about Eisav’s lies,
Though blind, perhaps he could see;
Drew Yaakov close towards him then,
And blessed him eternally.


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