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The beginning of the Jewish People.
It’s just like the rest of Jewish history.
Happens in strange ways!
… Jacob wants to marry Rachel.
Not so fast.
Her father, Laban, switches Leah for Rachel!
And Jacob has to work again for Rachel.
Rachel and Leah become the primary mothers of the Jewish People.
What we call the Matriarchs.
It’s kind of hard to see how Laban could pull it off.
(For those of us who remember the Patty Duke show, it might be a bit easier!)
It’s clear in Jewish tradition that this is part of the Divine plan.
That we were meant to come from both Rachel and Leah.
… Leah gives birth to a son and says, “This time I will thank G-d.”
And she calls him Judah. (Genes, 29:35)
Ever wonder where the word “Jew”comes from?
It’s from the Latin Judea. Judah.
From the Hebrew name Yehudah. Leah’s son.
Jews are all called “Judah”.
Which should constantly remind us of a very important Jewish value.
Because in Hebrew, Judah means thanks.
And in Jewish tradition, giving thanks isn’t for just one day a year.
It’s an approach to life.
And it’s for every single day of our lives.
It means appreciating G-d’s gifts.
The big things. And the little things.
And appreciating the things people do for us.
It’s about saying thank you constantly.
… Among the things we should be thankful for?
eing part of the Jewish people. The most amazing People ever.
We should think about it often.
It’s a great privilege. And a great responsibility.
… A Rabbi was walking in the streets of New York.
A car filled with rowdy teenagers pulled up to a red light, and yelled out.
The Rabbis response?
“Thank you for calling me that.
It’s the most glorious title a person could possibly have!”
All the best,