Now in its sixth year, with a readership of hundreds, Carpool Curriculum is a fun and engaging weekly Torah exploration for families and educators developed by Michael S. Raileanu, M.A.Ed. It is distributed every week by email.
It consists of a brief commentary on the Torah portion of the week, together with thought-provoking questions for you to talk about with your family. Parents, this is a great way to get your kids engaged in the Torah. Kids, the Torah is fun -- and you can prove it to your parents with Carpool Curriculum.
Educators appreciate the age-appropriate nature of Carpool Curriculum, and how easy it is to use with their students.
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Current issue - published Nov. 7, 2010
Parashat Va-yetzei (Genesis 28:10-32:3)
A weekly Torah exploration for families by Michael S. Raileanu, M.A.Ed.
Parashat Va-yetzei, Genesis 28:10-32:3, features the trials and tribulations or Jacob. He goes from being a single and unsure young man to being the leader of a great family, destined to be a great nation. As this parasha opens Jacob is on his way to his uncle's house and one night on the trail he has his famous dream about a ladder than the angels that are going up and down.
- Why are the angels going up and down (starting on earth and going into heaven) and not the other way around? What does that mean?
- Jacob wakes up from this dream and makes an alter and vow to God (28:16 -22). He seems to be saying that he will only remain loyal to God if God stays with him in his journey and provides for him. Why would Jacob speak that way? What else has happened in his life that might make him doubt God?
- Jacob marries Leah and Rachel in this parasha, too. Which does he really want to marry? What happens instead? How is that "change" a lesson for him? How is it different from what has happened in his family?
- Can you name the 13 children born to Jacob, Rachel, Leah, Bilhah and Zilpah? Do you know which child goes with which mom? If you were one of the kids of the helpers (Bilhah and Zilpah) how would you feel about the kids of Rachel and Leah? Or how about the other way around? Which kids do you think would most naturally form alliances with which kids? Why?
- When it comes time for Jacob to leave his father-in-law Laban, they have a famous moment at a place called Mizpah (31:49) where Laban says, "The Lord shall watch between me and you, when we are absent from one another." What is he saying? We know he doesn't really like of trust Jacob, therefore what is this blessing for? It is followed by a warning about not hurting Laban's daughters (31:50) What is Laban's deal here? What is he trying to say? What is the message do you think Jacob derives from this moment?