VAYETZE PARSHA FRAMAED 18 X 24
BOOK OF GENESIS
Breishit (Genesis)The Book of Genesis is concerned with beginnings: the creation of the world and the origin of humanity. It quickly shifts its focus from universal history to the history of the Jewish people beginning in chapter 12, with the introduction of Abraham, the first Jew. The remainder of the book focuses on the lives of Abraham and Sarah, Isaac and Rebecca, Jacob and Rachel and Leah, and Joseph. The book ends with the entire family of Jacob descending into Egypt. There are fifty chapters, divided into twelve parashiyot. The parashiyot in Breishit are: Breishit, Noah, Lech Lecha, VaYera, Chaye Sarah, Toldot, VaYetze, VaYishlach, VaYeshev, Miketz, VaYigash and VaYechi.
VaYetze : Are we running towards something, or running away.
In this week's parasha, Jacob begins his long journey, both physically and spiritually, from his home and family. Shortly after he leaves home, God appears to Jacob in a dream, presenting the image of the ladder from heaven to earth. God speaks to Jacob and promises him protection, offspring, and the land on which he lay. Jacob then travels on to Haran, where he meets and falls in love with his cousin Rachel, the daughter of his mother's brother Laban. Jacob arranges with Laban to work seven years to marry Rachel. However Laban, who has something of a shady reputation, substitutes his older daughter Leah for Rachel on her wedding night. Jacob confronts Laban, but is told, ironically, that the older has precedent over the younger. Jacob agrees to work seven more years for Rachel as well. Years pass and the sisters, as well as their servants who are given to Jacob as concubines, bear Jacob twelve sons and a daughter. These sons will become the ancestors of the 12 tribes of Israel. At the end of the portion, Jacob and his family depart from Haran and from Laban, and begin their journey back to Canaan.
Copyright: Kolel, The Adult Centre for Liberal Jewish Learning.
These summaries and introductions are used with permission of Kolel: The Adult Centre for Liberal Jewish Learning in Toronto, Canada. Kolel is a dynamic, pluralistic, egalitarian institution where men and women engage in Jewish learning which values both traditional and liberal interpretations. Kolel is a gateway into a richer expression of Judaism for each individual, wherever their journey of Jewish discovery may take them.
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