> Weekly Torah Portion > Shabbat Shalom > Shabbat Shalom Weekly

Toldot 5771

Toldot (Genesis 25:19-28:9 )

by Kalman Packouz

GOOD MORNING! How do you know whether or not you should marry a person? Many people go by their "gut feelings." The problem is - sometimes you don't know whether you have a burning heart ... or heartburn. If you can't answer "yes" to the following 3 questions, don't marry the person you're dating:



1. Do I respect this person enough that I want to be more like him/her?
Respect is crucial in any relationship, particularly marriage. The litmus test for respect is determining if you want to emulate this person. What qualities do you respect in this person? Would you be happy if your child turns out like him/her?
2. If his/her personality and habits stay exactly as they are today, will I be happy 20, 30, 40 years down the road?
Never marry potential. If you can't be happy with the person the way he or she is now, don't get married. Don't expect to change another person. You'll be frustrated and this person will be resentful. Can you accept this person exactly as he/she is, for the rest of your life?
3. Do we share common life goals and priorities?
Sure, chemistry and common interests are important. However, make sure you share the deeper level of connection that comes through sharing life goals. To avoid growing apart after marriage, figure out what you're living for while you're single and then find someone who independently came to the same conclusion as you.

A soul mate is really a goal mate - two people who ultimately share the same understanding of life's purpose and therefore share the same priorities, values and goals.

The majority of marriages today end in divorce. Those who answer "yes" to each of these 3 questions have a good chance in succeeding to build a happy marriage. Those who cannot answer "yes" to all 3 questions are likely entering a marriage that will leave them disappointed, unhappy and single again.


However, if you are already married - Here are:



"Rule #1 - Have no expectations. Expectations are the source of virtually all misery. Almost every young couple believes that there hasn't been a person like he or she is marrying since Adam met Eve. It's hard to live up to an image on a pedestal.

"Rule #2 - Always focus on your own responsibilities and what you can do for your spouse - not on your spouse's responsibilities and what you think your spouse should be doing for you. If you see a tissue on the floor or dirty laundry, pick it up; if you don't, then you are leaving it for your spouse.

"Rule #3 - Appreciate whatever your spouse does and express your appreciation both to your spouse and to the Almighty. Be sincere and frequent in your praise.

"Rule #4 - Be totally committed to your spouse and to the marriage. Your number 1 responsibility is to make it work. Too many people have one foot out the door or fantasize about 'maybe I should have married someone else I dated.' My father told me that he and Mom were awarded a prize on a recent cruise for the longest marriage amongst the passengers (soon to be 65 years!). People asked him, "How did you stay married so many years to the same woman?" My father replied, "When we got married we tied the knot with a square knot, not a slip knot.'"


For more on "Marriage" go to!


Hear classes on...
Download to Go
or Listen FREE On-Line


Torah Portion of the Week

Rivka (Rebecca) gives birth to Esav (Esau) and Ya'akov (Jacob). Esav sells the birthright to Ya'akov for a bowl of lentil soup. Yitzchak (Isaac) sojourns in Gerar with Avimelech (Avimelech), king of the Philistines. Esav marries two Hittite women, bringing great pain to his parents (because they weren't of the fold).

Ya'akov impersonates Esav on the counsel of his mother in order to receive the blessing for the oldest son from his blind father, Yitzchak. Esav, angry because of his brother's deception which caused him to lose the firstborn blessings, plans to kill Ya'akov, so Ya'akov flees to his uncle Lavan (Laban) in Padan Aram - on the advice of his parents. They also advise him to marry Lavan's daughter.

Esav understands that his Canaanite wives are displeasing to his parents, so he marries a third wife, Machlath, the daughter of Ishmael.

* * *

Dvar Torah
based on Love Your Neighbor by Rabbi Zelig Pliskin

The Torah describes Esau's garments as "the coveted ones" (Genesis 27:15).

Why coveted ones? Esau coveted the regal garments of Nimrod; he killed Nimrod and took the garments. Whenever Esau served his parents, he wore these garments, which were his best clothes. Esau was an evil man. It is despicable to covet, to murder and to steal. Yet, we see that even though he is evil, there is something positive that we can learn from Esau (besides not emulating his immoral ways) ... he strove to serve his parents in the best possible manner.

How great is the mitzvah, the commandment, of honoring one's parents? The story is told of Rabbi Yehoshua ben Ilem who was once told in a dream, "Be happy, for you and a butcher named Nanas will be neighbors in the World-to-Come." Upon awakening, Rabbi Yehoshua was quite shaken. He had devoted all his time to studying torah and fulfilling commandments; how could an ordinary butcher have sufficient merit to be his neighbor in the World-to-Come?

Rabbi Yehoshua traveled with his students from town to town until he found Nanas, the butcher. Overwhelmed that a famous sage came to visit him, Nanas humbly asked Rabbi Yehoshua why he had come. When Rabbi Yehoshua asked him what mitzvot he was performing, Nanas replied, "I have elderly parents who are helpless. I give them food and drink, and wash and dress them daily."

Upon hearing this, Rabbi Yehoshua kissed him on his head and said, "I am truly fortunate to have you as my neighbor in the World-to-Come!" (Seder HaDoros, part 2, p. 196)


(or go to

Jerusalem 4:11
Guatemala 5:14 - Hong Kong 5:26 - Honolulu 5:35
J'Burg 6:09 - London 4:07 - Los Angeles 5:39
Melbourne 7:41 - Mexico City 5:42 - Miami 6:19
New York 5:31 - Singapore 6:33 - Toronto 5:46


One of life's greatest mysteries is
how the boy who wasn't good enough
to marry your daughter can be
the father of the smartest grandchild in the world.
--  Jewish Proverb


With Deep Appreciation to

Robert Steinberg

Greenwich, CT


1 2 3 2,900

🤯 ⇐ That's you after reading our weekly email.

Our weekly email is chock full of interesting and relevant insights into Jewish history, food, philosophy, current events, holidays and more.
Sign up now. Impress your friends with how much you know.
We will never share your email address and you can unsubscribe in a single click.
linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram