Tikvat Israel Congregation

A Conservative Synagogue in Rockville, MD

Print all In new window Who Did Jacob Actually Wrestle? – Atid Learning Center Weekly Update 12/1/17

Dear Families,

See you Sunday! Hope you all had a pleasant Thanksgiving weekend.

Family Shabbat
December 8th, 2017
Details and to sign up

Mitzvah Request 
Tikvat Israel has adopted a refugee family and is seeking gently worn winter clothes for a 3 and 6 year old boy and for girls ages 4, 8 and 10.  Please contact Debbie Amster at debbieamster@comcast.net to make arrangements to drop off donations.               

Torah Talk:

http://jewishjourneyproject. weebly.com/parshat-vayishlach. html (includes a video about the parsha!)

This week’s Torah portion, Parshat Vayishlach, is one of the most important portions in the book of Genesis.  Here we encounter Jacob wrestling with a mysterious being (maybe an angel? maybe a man? maybe Esau? maybe Jacob wrestled himself?). This happens the night before Jacob is to see his brother Esau for the first time in many years. Remember, Jacob fled from his home after he stole Esau’s birthright and blessing. Jacob is scared to see Esau. He has no idea how Esau will react. Would Esau forgive him for his deception? Would Esau attack his family? 

It is with all these questions whirling inside him, that the mysterious being founds him and wrestles him. They struggle all night. As dawn approaches, Jacob finally agrees to let the mysterious being go on one condition: The being must give Jacob a blessing. In response, the mysterious being changes Jacob’s name to Yisrael which means “one who wrestles with God”.  

Israel (the patriarch formerly known as Jacob) limps away from this encounter forever changed. He goes to meet his brother, Esau. Miraculously, Esau is not angry. He embraces Israel and refuses the generous gifts Israel tries to give him saying, “I have much, my brother. Let what is yours be yours.” They walk a little together in the same direction and then go their separate ways.  Seemingly, with no ill will between them. Both Esau and Israel have undergone major transformations and the brothers who were once so different learn to love one another.

Family Activity

While the Bible tells us what happened to Jacob, there is no reference to his family.  Imagine you are one of Jacob’s children and write a dialogue, in play format, of what the children are talking about that night before Jacob and their Uncle Esau reunite.  Or, write a letter to Isaac as either Jacob or Esau, telling him (their father) what has happened. 

Upcoming Events:

  • Saturday, December 2- Junior Congregation (Grades 3-6) 10:30 am 
  • Saturday, December 2- Kehilat Kids (Grades K-2) 11:00 am
  • Friday, December 8- Family Shabbat
  • Saturday, December 9- Torah Club ~10:30 am Details here
  • Sunday, December 10- Machar Event (Grades 3-5)
  • Tuesday, December 12- 1st Chanukah Candle
  • Saturday, December 23- Torah Club ~10:30 am Details here
  • Sunday, December 24 – December 31 – Winter Break

Community Announcements:

New Year’s Family Camp at Capital Camps (December 29 – January 1)

There’s something for every member of the family at Capital Camps! Bring your family to sit around a campfire together, make s’mores, fly on the zip-line, create art, play on the sports fields and so much more. Come to learn, have fun, and share meaningful moments with family and friends.  In addition to program opportunities for families to enjoy together, our counselors run separate programs for kids, providing ‘grown?up’ time for adults to enjoy being with one another. Everything is included – food, accommodations, program, fun and memories. Click here to learn more and register!

Shabbat shalom,
Luisa Moss, Director of Education and Youth Programming