"G‑d, let's make a deal. You let me win tonight's $11 million Powerball jackpot, and I'll donate half the proceeds (after taxes) to charity. Don't trust me to deliver on my end of the deal? Fine, Let me win half and you spend your 5.5 mil on whatever you want..."

Sounds familiar? Who hasn't fantasized of a trouble-free life, sipping something long and cold with nary a care or worry flapping across the breeze? Why doesn't G‑d just put up and let me have an easy life for a while, for a change?

Jacob left Be'er Sheva home (his home in the Land of Israel) and traveled to Charan (Genesis 28:10).

Home was easy, home was secure; parents, family, friends, spiritually rewarding and emotionally comforting.

Charan was a snake pit, peopled by exaggerated characters like Laban, who would cheat you as quick as hire you. Charan means abandon Yeshiva life and enter the business hurly burly.

But Jacob went.

Charan also held the future; wives, children, the once and future dynasty.

Had Jacob never left home to dirty his shoe-leather in the dust of the big wide world he would have had no chance of ever fulfilling his destiny. When things are too comfortable, nothing ever gets done (and no, I'm not specifically referring to the Public Service).

OK, that may be why G‑d enjoys himself watching us struggle. But note when exactly Jacob left home: after years spent nestling in his father's shade. After he'd finished an apprenticeship in spirituality. after he'd had his education and laid down reserves of faith and strength to nurture him through the struggle years.

As adults we may sometimes pine for the easy times, while simultaneously welcoming the opportunities that challenge may bring; but children need all the protection and security we can provide. We'd never toss a kid out of home to get a job; so why toss one into an environment of spiritual vulnerability? They'll have plenty of meetings with the Labans of the world on their own life journey to Charan. But while they're still safe at home, provide them with a true education.

Oh, one more thing. In order to win the lottery, you've got to buy a ticket. That ticket is Torah and mitzvot.