Good Morning 11-16-18

This week’s portion is titled Vayeitzei which means “and he left.” It starts with Jacob leaving his home on the run from his brother Esau and it ends the same way. After twenty years of living in Haran and serving his Uncle Laban, Jacob decides it’s time to leave. Soon after Rachel gave birth to Joseph, Jacob’s eleventh son and twelfth child, Jacob went to Laban and asked to leave. He said, “Give me my wives and my children for whom I have served you, and I will go; for you are aware of my service that I labored for you.” … Continue reading Good Morning 11-16-18

Good Morning 11-15-18

How competitive are you? I fear Steve and I each brought some competitive genes to the pool. As the old song goes, “anything you can do I can do better, I can do anything better than you.” As a result, the genetic make-up of our children means they too have that competitive nature. It served them well both in the classroom and on the athletic field. However, sometimes too much competition can hurt relationships. Winning sometimes comes at a cost. In this week’s parashah the “battle of the boys” was on. After the birth of Judah, Rachel was bereft. Her … Continue reading Good Morning 11-15-18

Good Morning 11-14-18

How often do you say, “I have to_________”? Fill in the blank with whatever comes to mind. It’s a common lament. “I have to go work again today.” “I have to get those cookies baked for the bake sale.” “I have to clean this house.” Sometimes “I have to” is a go-to excuse. Think an invitation to an event you really don’t want to attend. “I’m sorry to decline. I have to wash my hair that night.” Sorry if that stirs up unhappy memories for some of you guys. This time of year the “I have to’s” pile up like … Continue reading Good Morning 11-14-18

Good Morning 11-13-18

I ran across an article recently titled “Red Flags in Marriage and What to Do about Them.” Every marriage has its moments of challenge for sure. Even those who have been married a good long time will admit there have been times when the connection was not as strong as they would have liked or even that they teetered on the brink of break up. Without further adieu, here are the red flags: lack of romance and intimacy living selfishly, absence of consideration and empathy lack of respect–in words or actions finding excuses to be apart, seeking escape overdependence on … Continue reading Good Morning 11-13-18

Good Morning 11-12-18

What goes around comes around. Isn’t that the saying we use when someone’s ill behavior catches up with them in an ironic way? The rebellious teen grows up and has a rebellious child. Someone who has cheated others is himself cheated. This is what happened to Jacob. The deceiver became the deceived. However justly we try to paint the events in which Jacob convinced Esau to sell his birthright for a bowl of stew or deceived his blind and elderly father to give the blessing for the eldest son to him, now it is Jacob’s turn to see how it … Continue reading Good Morning 11-12-18

Good Morning 11-11-18

At the end of last week’s parashah, we saw Isaac bestow a final blessing on Jacob. “You shall not marry one of the Canaanite women. Arise, go to Paddan-aram to the house of Bethuel your mother’s father; and take as wife from there one of the daughters of Laban your mother’s brother. God Almighty bless you and make you fruitful and multiply you, that you may become a company of peoples. May he give the blessing of Abraham to you and to your descendants with you, that you may take possession of the land of your sojournings which God gave … Continue reading Good Morning 11-11-18

Good Morning 11-9-18

Today and tomorrow mark an anniversary that we dare not forget. It was 80 years ago tonight that the watershed event in the destruction of European Jewry began with what has forever come to be known as Kristallnacht, or “night of the broken glass.” On that night throughout Germany, Austria, and Sudentenland (portions of former Czechoslovakia) synagogues were burned and thousands of Jewish businesses and homes were destroyed and vandalized. Ninety-one Jews were killed. Far more were beaten and brutalized. Nearly 30,000 Jewish men were arrested and sent to concentration camps. What precipitated these acts of pure evil? The propaganda … Continue reading Good Morning 11-9-18

Good Morning 11-8-18

There was a simple shepherd who was thankful for all the blessings in his life. He had a beautiful family, enough sheep to care for his needs, and plenty of land. Each morning, he went out to the field to pray, thanking God for all his blessings. Not being an educated man, he simply sang a tune with no words. His prayer-song was always welcomed by God. One day a learned man was passing through the area when a storm struck. He knocked on the shepherd’s door and asked if he might spend the night to avoid the storm. The … Continue reading Good Morning 11-8-18

Good Morning 11-7-18

An article in the Washington Post recounted author Steven Petrow’s “mission to both find and create more kindness in [the] world.” His words, not mine. He told of standing in a long line at one of his favorite bakeries. He was there for one of their delectable scones and as he stood there patiently waiting his turn, the pile in the glass case dwindled. When it was finally his turn to make his order, he rejoiced to say, “I’ll take that last scone.” Immediately, the fellow behind him cried out, “Hey! That’s my scone! I’ve been waiting in line for … Continue reading Good Morning 11-7-18

Good Morning 11-6-18

You couldn’t find two brothers more different. Esau the exuberant, impulsive hunter. Jacob the quiet, studious introvert. When I read the story of Esau and Jacob I can tell that we are supposed to like Jacob more. We know going into the story that Jacob is the third of the patriarchs with whom we are to identify. It’s pre-ordained it seems that he will be the “winner” in the battle of the brothers. And yet, Jacob is the one who withholds the stew from Esau until Esau promises to give him his birthright. It is Jacob who, at the urging … Continue reading Good Morning 11-6-18