November 18, 2018

Rosner’s Torah-Talk: Parashat Toldot with Rabbi Robert Scheinberg

Our guest this week is Rabbi Robert Scheinberg of the United Synagogue in Hoboken, NJ. Rabbi Scheinberg, a graduate of the Jewish Theological Seminary, has been the rabbi of the United Synagogue since 1997. He previously served congregations in Massachusetts and Alabama, and serves on the faculties of the Jewish Theological Seminary (where he is a doctoral candidate in Jewish liturgy) and the Academy for Jewish Religion. In 2006, Rabbi Scheinberg served on the New Jersey Legislature's Death Penalty Study Commission as a representative of New Jersey's religious communities. The Commission's work set the stage for the abolition of capital punishment in New Jersey in December 2007. He also was on the editorial committee for Mahzor Lev Shalem, the High Holiday prayer book for Conservative Judaism, published in 2010. Some of Rabbi Scheinberg's writings can be found at

This week's Torah portion – Parashat Toldot  (Genesis 25:19-28:9) – tells us the fascinating story of Jacob and Esau and of  the selling of Esau's birth right to Jacob. Our discussion focuses on the much maligned character of Esau, on how he was demonized by unflattering interpretations, and on his curious relationship with Jacob.

If you would like to learn some more about parashat Toldot, take a look at our discussion with Maharat Ruth Balinsky Friedman.