Billy gave the ball a final kick and watched as it rolled over the large green field. "Okay, guys, see you all tomorrow in school. I'll get the ball on my way out of the park."

"Hey!" David called after Billy. "Good luck with the studying!" Billy grimaced and waved goodbye. The others had nearly finished studying for their geography exam the next day, and he had not even begun. Well, Billy told himself, it's not really my fault - my cousin's Bar Mitzvah on Sunday, and then having Aunt Rosa over from Israel, and she's great fun, but there was just no time for studying.

Billy sighed as he came into his bedroom and pulled out his folder. He suddenly felt compelled to reorganize his folder before he began studying. An hour later, when the bedroom carpet was becoming visible once again from under the piles of papers, Billy could hear his mother calling him for supper. He shoved the last papers back into the folder and jogged downstairs.

Mr. Green smiled at his oldest son. "How is it going, Billy? You mentioned an exam tomorrow. You definitely seem to have been busy in your room with it all." Billy felt his cheeks turning slightly red as he remembered what he had been doing since he arrived home. Better just tell the truth, he warned himself.

"Actually, Dad, I've had a hard time getting down to it. I feel quite pressured by it, but whenever something else pops up I get quickly distracted. The Bar Mitzvah, Aunt Rosa, football, organizing my folder - it just doesn't seem to be happening. Geography has never been my strong point. And thanks for the soup, Mom, it's delicious."

"Hmm," his father nodded. "I see the difficulty you are having. Maybe we can look at what I heard in a class on this week's Torah portion. It speaks about Jacob meeting up with his brother Esau. As you probably remember, the relationship was more than a little strained since Jacob had received the blessings from their father. Now Jacob hears that his brother, who has previously threatened to kill him, is heading towards him with four hundred men. Jacob is standing there with his four wives, lots of little children, and cattle. Not much manpower to fight with. How do you think Jacob feels right now, and what do you think he does?"

"Really, really scared," said Billy's younger sister. "Terrible pressure," said Billy's younger brother.

"More pressure than from a geography exam," Billy said, smiling. "I'm not sure what he does though. Hmm, I think I remember something about sending presents… and some other things, I don't remember."

"Well," their father continued, "Jacob did three things. First of all he sent presents to Esau with some messengers, then he split his family into two groups, so that should Esau attack, and Jacob would have to fight back, not everyone would be hurt. And third of all, he prayed to G‑d. The question is, of course, what you can learn from this for your test tomorrow."

"Gosh," said Billy. "Well, I guess first of all that I should take some action. Jacob didn't seem to be procrastinating too much over there. Hmm, well, doing some actual studying could be like sending presents, dealing with the situation. Dividing the family in preparation for defense, what could that be… how about organizing the information into different groups and then I can remember them more efficiently? And praying definitely sounds like a good idea. Maybe we could both go together to the early morning service in the synagogue before school tomorrow."

His father smiled at him. "Well, it sounds a good strategy to me…"