Wednesday, November 7, 2007

KMTT - Isaac emulating Abraham

The KMTT podcasts about the weekly Torah portions are not delivered on a weekly basis. Parashat Chayeh Sarah was not in the series last week, though now this week, we do have parashat toldot.

Isaac takes his wife Rebecca on a visit through the region of another ruler in Canaan. He announces on this trip that Rebecca is his sister and doesn't admit she is his wife. There are two similar stories in the Torah - here it is Isaac's father Abraham, who journey's with his wife (and Isaac's mother) Sarah and also he doesn't admit she is his wife, but claims she is his sister. The podcast by Rabbi Chanoch Waxman then explains how Isaac is repeating all that his father has done and goes on to point out how this emulation is meaningful.

A thought that arose with me, already on the previous stories, especially where it took place in Egypt was that historically - so i have read somewhere, or heard in another podcast - it was customary among Egyptians to refer to their wives as their sisters. Maybe this started as a simple misunderstanding; or an attempt by Abraham to adapt to local customs has taken on an entirely different meaning? Poor Isaac, having to repeat all that nonsense...