Torah: Vayeitzei (Genesis 28:10 -32:3) Haftarah: (Hosea 12:13-14:10)
Veterans’ Day Remembrance was Thursday, November 10 is when we honored and remembered all the sacrifices these men and women made along with their families on behalf of our country’s citizens by keeping us safe.
The Torah portion contains Jacob’s heavenly-ladder dream, Jacob becomes a member of Laban’s family, Jacob marries Leah, and works another seven years to acquire Rachel for a wife and Jacob’s flight from Laban.
One concept and value is called Yirah (the awe of G-d). When Jacob awakens from his heavenly dream, his first words were: “Surely G-d is in this place, and I did not know it” (Genesis 28:16). Our rabbis tell us that no vision in life will ever come to successful fruition unless we can say: “Surely G-d is in this place” (panim yafot). Jacob had a spiritual experience and felt the Presence of G-d. Some say the ladder in Jacob’s dream, called in Hebrew sulam, was a symbol of Si. In gematria, the words sulam and Sinai both have the numerical value, 130.
What is interesting to point out is that the angels were traveling from earth up to the heavens, and they were not traveling from heaven down to earth. When Jews welcome Shabbat with Shalom Aleichem we are saying farewell to the angels that are with each of us during the week and saying welcome in peace to the angels that will be with each of us during the Sabbath. Living and walking here with all of nature’s beauty each of us can say: Surely G-d is in this place. When a Jewish person travels from this mountain area and goes to the beach and ocean that person recites a special prayer for viewing another of G-d’s beautiful places.
Did you ever wonder why the bridegroom lifted up the veil of the bride? It is because of what occurred to Jacob and Rachel. That’s why Jacob worked another seven years to marry Rachel, since he married her older sister, Leah first. Leah was truly betrothed to his brother Esau! So the next time you attend a Jewish wedding watch and smile when the bride’s veil is lifted.
Kerutah…Let us learn together!
Why do Jews play with dreidels? During the times of the Maccabees Jews were forbidden to teach Torah. When the soldiers came upon the teachers and their young students they would take out the top and pretend to be gambling.
Each letter in Hebrew and its meaning:
Nun = Nes is Miracle: action – Take nothing from the pot.
Gimmel = Gadol is Big: action – Take ALL!
Hay = Hiyah means Happened: Take Half.
Shin = Sham means There (Israeli Dreidels have a Pay = PO means Here) action: Add 1 to the pot.
Nes Gadol Hiyah Sham! A Great Big Miracle Happened There!
If you use the chocolate Gelt, please make sure your children don’t hold them in their hands, the chocolate will melt!
Peanuts used to be used, however too many youngsters have nut allergies.
Pennies work well, too!
Those that will attend this week’s Shabbat in person, Ellen Nathan will have candles for you to purchase. Look forward to celebrating Hanukkah together on December 3rd.
Next Kerutah… How to make Latkes!
Rabbi Helene Ainbinder