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Vayeishev Parshah Lesson

Vayeishev Parshah Lesson

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Rikky’s room looked very much like the carnival her class was planning for Hanukkah. Papers, streamers, balloons, tickets, prizes, and boxes were scattered all around. Rikky was the class president, and her friends were going to come over soon to organize the project.

Rikky sat hunched over her plan book. “What are we going to do?” she thought. “We don’t have enough room to set up all the booths.” She tried to rearrange the floor plan again on a fresh piece of paper.

While Rikky was busy working, her sister came into the room. “Rikky, our class is putting on a Hanukkah play. I’m one of the seven sons of Hanna who wouldn’t bow down to the idol. I can’t decide which costume to wear.”

“Oh!” blurted out Rikky. “I’m busy enough with my own problems, and I can’t possibly worry about yours!” Rikky went back to her work. She didn’t notice her mother standing in the doorway of her room.

“Rikky, I’m happy that you are so involved in a good project,” her mother said with a smile. “I’m sure it’s a lot of work and that you have to handle many details. Still, you might try to put your affairs aside for a moment and help someone else with theirs. Think what Joseph did when he was imprisoned in Egypt.”

Rikky put down her pen and looked at her mother. To tell the truth, she was pleased to take a break from her project.

“Joseph,” her mother continued, “certainly had plenty of problems of his own. Nevertheless, he paid attention to other prisoners as well.

“One day, Joseph noticed that the royal butler and baker were in a bad mood. Joseph was probably not in a great mood himself, since he was taken from his family and thrown into prison. Still, he listened patiently to their dreams, and he offered them some advice.

“This was very typical of Joseph. He was a person who cared about others even if he had his own worries. When he was born, his mother said, Joseph HaShem li ben "acher"G‑d gave me "another" son. Acher means ‘another.’ It also means an "outsider." Joseph cares for other people even those who are different, and even those who are outsiders. He reaches out to these people and brings them close, making the "outsider" an "insider."

Adapted from the writings of Rebbetzin Malka Touger, who is the author of many books for both children and adults. Her children's series on the Parsha can be purchased here.
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