Jacob and Esau are born. Isaac relocates to Philistine where he digs wells, resulting in friction between him and the locals. Rebecca and Jacob successfully deceive Isaac, tricking him into giving to Jacob the blessings he had intended for Esau.
First Aliyah: Rebecca had trouble conceiving. Isaac and Rebecca prayed for children, and after twenty years of marriage Rebecca became pregnant. She was concerned about her exceedingly difficult pregnancy, and was advised by G‑d that this was due to two children – two nations – struggling in her womb. She gave birth to twin boys: a hairy, ruddy boy named Esau, and a second son, born clutching his brother’s heel, named Jacob. Esau became a hunter, while Jacob was an honest man who frequented the schools of Torah. Isaac favored Esau, while Rebecca preferred Jacob. One day, Esau came home from the field hungry, and pleaded with Jacob to give him some of the stew he was cooking. Jacob agreed to Esau’s request provided that he give him his birthright as firstborn in exchange—and Esau acceded to this barter. There was a famine in Canaan, and Isaac was escaping the famine by traveling to Egypt via Philistine when G‑d told him to remain in Philistine. G‑d also informed Isaac that he would visit upon him all the blessings He had promised to Abraham.
Second Aliyah: Isaac settled in Philistine. When the townspeople inquired regarding his wife, he told them that she was his sister, fearing that otherwise the Philistines would kill him in order to take Rebecca. Eventually, Abimelech, king of the Philistines, noticed that Rebecca was Isaac’s wife and though he reprimanded Isaac, he issued a decree that no one touch them. While in Philistine, Isaac sowed crops, and miraculously harvested a hundred times more than a field’s normal yield.
Third Aliyah: Isaac became extremely wealthy. He also re-dug some of the wells that his father Abraham had dug, but had since been stopped up by the Philistines. The Philistines eventually became envious of his wealth, and asked him to leave. Isaac complied, moving away from the city and settling in the Gerar Valley. There, Isaac’s servants dug two new wells but the Philistines contested his ownership over these wells. The third well he dug was uncontested.
Fourth Aliyah: G‑d appeared to Isaac and blessed him and assured him that He would always be with him. Abimelech approached Isaac and requested to enter into a peace treaty with him.
Fifth Aliyah: Isaac agreed to Abimelech’s request. On that day, Isaac’s servants informed him that they had successfully dug another well. At the age of forty, Esau married two wives. Their idolatrous ways anguished Isaac and Rebecca. Isaac had now advanced in age, and he became blind. He summoned Esau and told him that he wished to bless him, but first he should go to the field and hunt some game for him to eat. Rebecca heard this conversation and advised Jacob to don Esau’s clothing and trick Isaac into blessing him instead. Rebecca prepared meat and gave it to Jacob to bring to his father. She also took hairy goatskin and put it on Jacob’s smooth arms and neck. Jacob approached his father and presented himself as Esau, and Isaac ate from the repast Rebecca had prepared.
Sixth Aliyah: Isaac blessed Jacob with the “dew of the heaven and the fat of the earth,” and granted him mastery over his brother. No sooner than the blessing ended, Esau arrived from the field, only to be informed by his father – who now understood what had transpired – that the blessing was already given to his younger brother. Esau was furious and Isaac comforted him with a minor blessing. Esau was determined to kill Jacob, but Rebecca, who got wind of this plot, asked Isaac to send Jacob to Charan to find a wife. Isaac did so, and blessed Jacob again before he departed.
Seventh Aliyah: Isaac sent Jacob to his brother-in-law Laban’s home, to marry one of his daughters. Esau married again, this time to Machalat the daughter of Ishmael.
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