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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?

In this week’s parsha, we see a very surprising good-bye present from Rachel – she steals her father’s idols as she packs her bags. (see Chapter 31 verse 19) Why would she do that? What do you think? Put yourself in her…sandals!
Some commentaries suggest that she was preventing her father from using the idols and some sorcery to seek their whereabouts and get information about their future plans. Others suggest that she was trying to “convert” her father and force him to throw away these idols, already!

What is the difference between these two approaches? In the first one, Rachel accepts her father’s “bad habits” and needs to work around them. In the second approach, she just cannot let go of her hope that he too will recognize the G-d that she has accepted.

When YOU are frustrated with someone’s beliefs or habits or values or rules etc. do you try to force them to be a different way or do you accept who they are and work around it.

1. Did you have to deal with this at all this past week?
2. A kid who just won’t stop doing something you disagree with or find annoying?
3. A co-worker who follows a certain value system you find hard to tolerate?
4. A parent who just doesn’t see something the way you do?
5. What would Rachel do? What did you do?

Bracha Krohn is a mom of three living in Israel. She teaches children, teenagers and adults in schools, Batei Midrash and summer camp. “Table Talk” and “Personal Parsha” are based on the ideas she and her husband, also a Torah educator, discuss with their children around their weekly Shabbat table.