Jewish Community Center

Opening Doors to Spirituality, Social Consciousness, and Community A Friendly Egalitarian Conservative Congregation

Shabbat Vayetze

Genesis 28:10-32:3
Candle Lighting time 4:10 PM

Growing up I was quite jealous of my brother George who was four years younger than me. I have to admit I wasn’t always a nice big brother. I am ashamed to tell you how many times I fought with him and beat him up.


Our story could have fit in the book of Genesis, which might well be subtitled A Brief History of Sibling Rivalry. Cain and Abel (Gen. 4); Isaac and Ishmael (21:8–10); Joseph and everyone not named Benjamin (ch. 37). But for brother-to-brother animosity, it’s hard to beat Jacob and Esau.


Jacob took advantage of Esau’s first and hunger so that his twin brother sold him the birthright. Then he tricked their father Isaac to give him the covenantal blessing. Esau felt that Jacob had cheated him twice, so he wanted to kill Jacob (27:41). This week’s Torah portion begins with Jacob fleeing for his life by running away back to his mother’s brother’s house in the old country.


 Decades later Jacob and Esau would reconcile (ch. 33). But the rivalry continued on in their descendants, who became the nations of Edom and Israel. When the people of Israel prepared to enter the Promised Land, Edom met them with threats and an army (Num. 20:14–21). Much later, as Jerusalem’s citizens fled invading forces, Edom slaughtered the refugees (Obad. 1:10–14).



But that doesn’t have to be the end of the story. God commands us to love one another. As my brother and I got older, we became closer. I miss him terribly since he has passed away. If family relationships have been rendered to sunder, why wait for decades to pass before this reconciliation? There’s no better time than the present to make things right again. That’s the thing with God. When we respond positively to forgiveness, His grace can transform our sibling rivalries into brotherly love.


Shabbat Shalom,


Rabbi Greene


Warm your souls by helping us make a minyan Friday night 7 PM. Please call the office or email me telling us that we can count on you to help us make a minyan. If you can come Friday night, join us for Saturday morning services.


Service Schedule

Friday night 7:00 p.m.
Shabbat 9:30 a.m.


Save the Date!

Sunday, December 12, 2019 we are invited to Solomon Schechter of Long Island re-dedication of their school.


6:30 PM welcome and open house. 7 PM the program begins. 7:30 PM the renowned singing group Six13 will perform. Space is limited RSVP to:


Friday, December 27, 2019 join us for sisterhood's annual Hanukkah dinner. Services begin at 6 PM with dinner following immediately. $20 per adult with all students free within an accompanying adult. RSVP the synagogue office by December 23rd



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