Dvar Torah - Toldot: Who do you resemble?

Isaac resembled Abraham

This week's Torah portion starts out speaking about the similarities between Abraham and Isaac. Rashi explains that G-d made a miracle and the physical appearance of Isaac mirrored that of Abraham. 

Don't children look like their parents? 

At first glance, this doesn't seem to be much of a miracle. Don't most children resemble their parents? Biologically, we share similar DNA and psychologically our personality is shaped by our experience in the home. Similarity it would seem is the order of the day, not a miracle. 

Each of the forefathers had a different mission

Abraham's mission was kindness, Isaac's was setting boundaries, and Jacob's was a synthesis of the two. The miracle now can be better understood. Even though their mission was entirely different, the forefathers shared an underlying similarity.


Find your own mission


  1. This is a lesson to us all. On the one hand, we must resemble our parents. The life lessons and culture that they live by give shape and meaning to our lives. On the other hand, it is very important that each of us find the mission that best fits who we are. One must walk a delicate balance between charting your own path and following in our parents' footsteps. In the Talmud, Yevamot 83a King David describes the qualities of the Jewish people. They are merciful, kind, and humble. Something to think about as we plan out our lives.

Blessing - 

I give you a blessing that you follow the example of Isaac. Follow your own unique path and in doing so resemble your parents.