“He shoots, he scorrrrrres!!! And they win the game! Good teamwork, guys!”

Every good player knows that if he wants to win the game, it’s all about the teamwork. You’ve got to be united with your teammates and work together with them.

What is unity? What does it mean to be unified?

When Jacob went down to Egypt with his family, the text reads, “Seventy soul went down to Egypt.” Would it not be grammatically correct to state, “Seventy souls”? The reason for this is to show us that Jacob’s family was unified—they were one. They were united to the extent that it was as if they were but one soul. They shared the same beliefs and goals.

Now let’s take a look at the text where it describes the travels of Esau’s family. When Esau’s family went to Seir, although his family consisted of just six people at that time, the text reads “souls of his household.”1 They worshipped many gods; they did not share the same beliefs or goals, and therefore are described in the plural.

So what can we take from all of this? When we see others who seem so different from us, we may have a hard time identifying with them, or even recognizing that we are like brothers and sisters. But by focusing on the fact that we share the same beliefs and traditions, and that we all come from Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, we can remember that we are one. We are united until the end of time, because we believe in one and the same G‑d.

  • What kind of people do you have a hard time identifying with?
  • After reading the message above, do you feel it helps to connect with those people?
  • As a bar/bat mitzvah, what can you take on to strengthen your unity with your fellow Jews?
  • Why is it that we have a hard time feeling united with others who look or sound different than us?