Vayeitzei November 27, 2009
Welcome to Beyond Twelve Gates. Everyone needs
encouragement -- even Brett Favre.
The Future Hall of Fame quarterback, 40,
is having one of his finest seasons. Although he's making it look easy,
Favre said he's needed many pep talks from a close friend to help him with
"doubt and maybe some insecurities" because his "confidence
was not at a high level." Favre, who was lured out of retirement
in August, said he "didn't really believe or buy into" the talk
that he could still produce at a championship-caliber pace. "But
as the season has progressed, (his friend) is always saying, 'I told you so.
You can do it. You can make those throws.' "
Someone once said, "
Remember, man doesn't live on bread alone: sometimes he needs a little
buttering up." Think of someone who could use a pep talk.
Vayeitzei Genesis 28:10 -- 32:3
Jacob escapes from his wicked brother Esau and travels to Charan, where he
will stay with his uncle Laban. While spending the night at the future
site of the Temple, G-d appears to Jacob in a dream. Rich in
symbolism and meaning, the dream depicts a ladder extending from heaven
to earth upon which angels are ascending and
descending. After arriving in Charan, Jacob meets Laban's daughter
Rachel and agrees to work for Laban for seven years for her hand in
marriage. When the wedding night finally
arrives, Laban deceives Jacob by substituting
his older daughter Leah in Rachel's place. After waiting a week, Jacob
marries Rachel also, but not without being forced to commit to another seven
years of labor.
Over the next few years Rachel remains barren, while Leah gives birth to six
sons and a daughter, and Bilhah and Zilpah (the maidservants of Rachel
and Leah respectively) each have two sons with Jacob. Finally
Rachel also has a son, Joseph. Jacob becomes very wealthy during his
twenty-year stay with Laban, even though his father-in-law continually tries
to swindle him. After seeking counsel with his wives, Jacob and his
family flee from Laban, who pursues and confronts him, upset that he left
without saying goodbye and arrogantly claiming that Jacob stole his
idols. Eventually they sign a peace treaty and part ways.
Thanksgiving is a time to focus on our
blessings. What would you say if I asked you if you were a
being asked to participate in an experimental study conducted at a local
medical center. Payment for volunteers is $1 million.
Interested? Of course, you'd want to know precisely what the study
entailed. If you were told that participants would be subject to a
painless procedure resulting in permanent blindness, would you still
be interested in volunteering? For $5 million? $10
million? I've never met a person who answered
"Yes", regardless of the amount of money that
was hypothetically offered.
The good news is; since you're reading this, you can
see. And since you were unwilling to accept $1 million
(or more) for your eyesight, that means that you have an asset worth at least
$1 million. Let me again pose the original question: are you a
millionaire? Did you say yes? Congratulations!
'attitude of gratitude' can transform our lives for the better. Each of
us has so many blessings. Our freedom. Our family. Our
friends. Our health. Our understanding of truth.
Thanksgiving is a time to focus on our blessings.
Quote of the Week
Never tell people how to
do things. Tell them what to do and they will surprise you
with their ingenuity -- General George Patton
Joke of the Week
Canadian Jew made aliyah to Israel.
Proficient in skiing, Moshe tried out for -- and made -- the Israeli Winter
Olympic team. With fantastic times in the trial heats of the
slalom (a race where the skier must past through 20 gates), Moshe was
the favorite for the Olympic gold medal.
Come the day of the final,
the crowd waited in anticipation. The French champion sped down the
course in 38 seconds. The Swiss in 38.7 seconds. The German in 37.8
seconds. The Italian in 38.1 seconds Then came Moshe's
turn. The crowd waited and waited .... Finally, after a full five
minutes, he crossed the finish line.
happened to you?" screamed his coach when the skier finally arrived.
hard, Moshe replied, "All right, who was the wise guy who put a
mezuzah on every gate?" (joke from Alan Zarkowsky)