Shabbat Parashat Vayeitzei 5776–Shabbat Torah Study in the D–The More Things Change, the More They Stay the Same

It is sometimes difficult, but our children frequently leave home to find opportunity elsewhere—college, jobs, etc. and may build their lives elsewhere. Midrash tells us that Jacob left Mom and Dad (in a bit of a hurry) and went to a college out of town–S.E.U. (Shem and Eber University), not much of a football team, but great academics. With degree in hand, Jacob goes to Haran looking for a wife and actually finds two. He gets involved in his wives’ family’s meat and dairy business, but when he and his father-in-law have different profit sharing strategies, Jacob decides to return home after all. He had not been home for 20+ years. Some say he did not stay in good contact with Mom and Dad either (perhaps because of bad cell reception), but when he ultimately returns it is with 13 grandchildren, so how angry could his parents be?

The point is that if you raise your children well, even if they leave, they may return, but more importantly retain the values they were raised with. Of course, Jacob is in his 60s (maybe 70s) when he decides to come home. So don’t complain if your kids are still living at home or returning in their 30s.

Ruth Bergman teaches us this Shabbat at 9:45 a.m. She will share interesting insights into this Parasha.

Definitely come this Shabbat. We have a lot of fun learning together. Come as you are, stay as long as you like.

Shabbat Shalom,

Paul

P.S. This coming Thursday is celebrated as Thanksgiving Day in the United States. Of course, it is part of our faith and practice as Jews to be grateful for our blessings and to give thanks every day. Our holiday of Sukkot is recognized as its own special holiday of Thanksgiving. If Thanksgiving is a day designed for us to give thanks for the religious freedoms we enjoy, then we as Jews also have Chanukah, the Festival of Lights for that purpose. Nevertheless, as Jews in the United States, we have special reason to be thankful. We must be grateful for the United States as a country with a culture, philosophy, founding principles, laws and Constitution that has allowed the Jewish people and our culture to flourish and grow in freedom. Notwithstanding any criticisms that some may have, that may be with or without merit depending on your point of view, Israel has never had a better friend among the nations of the world than the United States. Thanksgiving is a nice opportunity to recognize that and reflect on the reasons we should never to take that for granted. These are liberties we must defend and cause to flourish even in an increasingly dangerous world. Best wishes to you and your family for a wonderful Thanksgiving Day, however you may choose to celebrate it.

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