Thursday, 29 November 2012

Transformation in Vayishlach

Parashat Vayishlach is a little lacking in good content for children. From preparing for war against your brother, the abduction and rape of Dina, to Rachel's death during childbirth, most of the parasha deserves an R rating.
It really was hard to teach my girls this week. The encounter between Yaakov and Eisav, both in the form of an angel, as well as in human form was the only part that I could recount easily. Gabi liked the bowing seven times the most, and practiced it repeatedly. She also complained of a sore gid hanashe.

I watered down the story of Dina to a brief kidnapping. 'Dina left the house without a grown-up and without telling anyone where she was going. She thought the strangers she met seemed nice and they kidnapped her. She was very scared, but her abba and brothers rescued her.' The end. My girls then spoke about not wondering off and not talking to strangers. These are lessons that are always important to review, but do not really reflect what the Torah tells us.

Because I am expecting and I don't want to give my children unnecessary insecurities, I entertained skipping the story of Rachel's death, but without it I could not tell them about Binyamin's birth or Kever Rachel. But I explained that it is very rare today for Ema's to die in childbirth.
"Ema, don't worry. When the baby is ready to come out, you just need to do a little extra teffilah and I will also and then you will be fine and won't die," Cohava said reassuringly.
"But if you die then I won't have an Ema anymore," Gabi exclaimed. "And if Abba found a new wife then I would get a step mother and she might be mean to me..." Gabi began working herself into a frenzy. Cohava and I both assured her IYH everything would be fine.

 What did that leave for parsha project? The fight with the angel! This was Cohava's favourite part of the parasha, but I struggled with how to make something for it. I found these very large paperclips and thought they resembled an angel.
I gave the girls each a piece of wood to decorate and then hot glue gunned the 'angel' on.

 The girls each made a Yaakov to be 'stuck' in the malach's grip. On one side on the wooden block it will say "Yaakov" and on the other "Yisrael". The transformative nature of a struggle is an incredible message, but one too mature for my children.
 Above is Cohava's Yaakov. He is full of love. And below is Gabi's Yisrael. Can you see the band-aid on his gid hanashe?

Cohava also had her own plans for a project. She insisted on 12 plaits (braids) in her hair, to represent the twelve brothers.
Gabi was inspired and wore three buns in her hair to represent the three things Yaakov did to prepare for seeing Eisav (tefilah, sending gifts, preparing for war.)

Shabbat Shalom!


  1. Congratulations. Glenn and I are excited about the new great niece or nephew.


  2. Thanks! And thank you so much for the new bear from deepest darkest Peru!