Toldot: Do Jews Have Muscles?



You are a detective. A heist of the most valuable diamond in the world has occurred. Only two individuals were in the vicinity. But one of them is lame and the other is blind.

What to do?

The narrative which solves the mystery of the missing diamond began more than 3,666 years ago, when two very famous babies – twins – were born in the Middle East. It continued 1,800 years after that, when a Prince of Judah and a Roman general discussed the secrets of the universe. And it goes on to this very day, when you and I try to back our ideas with muscle and give legs to our dreams.

In this week’s Torah portion, Toldot, the Woody Allen stereotype of the nebbish Jew first appears – and is quickly obliterated.

Jacob and Esau, Judah the Prince and Antoninus, You and I all play a part, and it can’t get much better than that.

Intriguing Talmudic story, a joke about Jewish rowers and the modern day mystery all come together to illustrate the key lesson of this week’s Torah reading and make it relevant to today’s audience:

Pick up an oar, flex your muscles, yell into a bullhorn – and your victory is assured!


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