A Weekly Newsletter
for our graduates, 
families and friends 
  HIGHLIGHT OF THE YEAR
JEP FAMILY SHABBATON WITH KOSHERTROOPS
JEP, KosherTroops, and the Olympia community will celebrate Shabbat together. Please join us for an inspiring and enjoyable program, delicious meals and lovely accommodations. It will be a grand send-off to a group of cadets leaving on a Birthright trip to Israel after Shabbat.
Space is limited. Registration will be accepted on a first come first serve basis.  Please click on this link for a registration form
For more information call 845.5585.5858.

Shabbos Cancles
SHABBAT SHALOM
Friday, December 1, 2017
Candle lighting - 4:10 pm
Torah Portion - Vayishlach
Saturday, December 2
Havdalah - 5:13 pm  
  "As I safeguard Shabbat,
 G-d will safeguard me. 
It is an eternal sign 
between Him and me." 
 (from the Shabbat morning songs)

THANK YOU TO OUR AMAZING JEP VOLUNTEERS WHO GAVE THEIR TIME AND ENERGY ON SUNDAY MORNING OF THANKSGIVING WEEKEND TO PACK CHANUKAH CARE PACKAGES FOR KOSHERTROOPS!


Contact Information

Naomi Greenwald
845.558.5858


email:
ngreenwald@jeprockland.org


DECEMBER 
MITZVAH PROJECTS FOR JEP TEENS

Sunday, December 10
HOLIDAY HOUR
JEP Teens will be Mitzvah Mentors and share the joy of Chanukah with special needs children with crafts, stories and games.
Meet at the Hebrew School at 9:30. Pick up at 12:30 pm. (prayers, breakfast, prep time and the mitzvah activity)

Sunday, December 17
CHANUKAH FESTIVAL
JEP Teens set up & run the Hebrew School Chanukah Carnival 
9:30 am - 12:30 pm




In this week's Torah portion, Parshat Vayishlach, we read about the fateful meeting between Yaakov and his brother, Eisav.  Yaakov, on learning that Eisav was approaching with four hundred armed men was "very distressed and afraid."  (Genesis, 32:8)  We may ask what Yaakov had to fear. Wouldn't G-d protect him from his brother, he being much more righteous?  Had not G-d given him a promise of protection and success? 
 
Our sages explain that Yaakov thought about his deeds and about Eisav's deeds.  Yaakov thought about how he had been away from his parents for twenty years, having been instructed by his mother to flee from Eisav.  He spent those years first learning Torah in the Yeshiva of Shem and Ever, and then working for Lavan.  All those years, he had not had the opportunity to fulfill the mitzvah of honoring his parents! (This was before the days of phones and e-mail that keep us connected!)  Yaakov had fulfilled so many mitzvot while he was away from his parents, and yet, lacking the merit of the great mitzvah of honoring parents (through no fault of his own, we might add) made him fearful.  And furthermore, Yaakov was aware that there was one mitzvah which Eisav kept meticulously- the mitzvah of honoring his parents.
 
What can we learn from Yaakov's concern?  We learn the tremendous importance of honoring parents.  It is one of the Ten Commandments, and it is the only one that includes mention of the reward for it!
 
We also learn a great character trait from Yaakov - "a good eye" - which means the ability to see the good in another person or situation.  Yaakov had every reason to view Eisav negatively (after all, Eisav was out to kill him!), but what he noticed most clearly about Eisav was his merit of honoring his parents, so much so that in his mind it dwarfed all his own merits, and he feared that Eisav might deserve to overpower him.
 
In Ethics of our Fathers, Rabbi Elazar taught that "a good eye" is the best quality to which a man can cling.  People are quick to judge people unfavorably, and they think they are very clever because they can see other people's failings.  Rabbi Elazar teaches us that it often requires much cleverness and insight to arrive at a positive impression of a person or situation, and this is a virtuous way to view others and relate to them.
 
Of course, Yaakov had nothing to worry about in his encounter with Eisav, but that was Yaakov's greatness - he concentrated on his own spiritual growth and was constantly striving for more mitzvah observance, while he was able to view someone else, not nearly on his level of spiritual greatness, in a positive light
(from Reachings by Rabbi Yaakov Haber)
 
Wishing you a good Shabbos,
Naomi 
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