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    Chronology or character? – Tol’dot

    Several weeks ago when we read the story of No’ach we found the Torah using the same word, Tol’dot (Gen. 6:9), which we have at the beginning of today’s portion (Gen. 25:19).

    Tol’dot means “offspring” or “generations”. It narrates history. But because its root is y-l-d, which means to produce issue, some of the commentators on Parashat No’ach say that it does not have to be understood as chronology but character.

    It relates metaphorically the actions that emanate from a good person – a righteous person’s deeds, not only their and their descendants’ place in destiny.

    The same goes here where the context is the story of Isaac, the son of Abraham and Sarah. He was a much quieter personality than his father Abraham and his son Jacob, but in his own way he was a righteous person whose deeds deserve praise.

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