In this week’s reading, Vayishlach, our Torah Treat tells the tale of Yaakov crossing the river with his wives, his children and all of their belongings. Yaakov crosses the river and is met by his brother Esav. There were a lot of characters involved, and the “little hands” in this house had a great time re-enacting this story.
In this week’s Parsha, Yaakov bestows his son Yosef with the wondrous striped coat. As the story goes, this gift caused an immense amount of jealousy between Yosef’s other brothers — so much so, that at the end of this story, Yaakov’s other sons sell Yosef into slavery. For our Torah Treat this week, we will be making our own coat of many colors. But don’t worry — let’s plan to make enough so that everyone has one, no one gets jealous, and we all live happily ever after.
At the end of this week’s parsha, VaYeishev, we find Joseph sitting in jail with the butler and the baker.
Like Parshat Noach and rainbows, this week’s Parsha, Parshat VaYeishev, has lots of craft possibilities because of the mentioning of the multi-colored coat that Yaakov bestows upon his beloved son Yosef.
In the beginning of this week’s Torah reading, the man/angel that Yaakov wrestles with informs him “Your name will no longer be Yaakov, but Israel, because you have struggled with God and with men and have overcome.” This project illuminates the meaning of the Hebrew names in your family.
If you were Rachel and your husband Jacob tells you it’s time to leave your father’s house and go join the family of your in-laws, the monotheistic Abrahamic family, how would you say goodbye? What could Lavan, Rachel’s father, really understand about what it’s like to answer a call from G-d? So how would you explain it or say goodbye?
With Yaakov in Haran, he begins to think about starting a family. While Yaakov is engaged to marry Rachel, he is tricked into marrying Leah, Rachel’s older sister, on his wedding day. By the time Yaakov is ready to leave Charan, he has children from Leah, Rachel, Bilhah and Zilpah! Most of the twelve tribes are born in this week’s Torah portion.