Genesis 28:10 - 32:3

Hosea 12:13 - 14:10

In this Torah portion, Jacob has a dream in which angels go up and down a ladder connecting earth to heaven. God appears before Jacob and renews the covenant that God had made with Abraham. Jacob sees Rachel, Laban’s daughter, tending sheep and wishes to marry her. Laban tricks Jacob into marrying his eldest daughter, Leah, after seven years of labor. In exchange for another seven years of work, Jacob is allowed to marry Rachel. Jacob has many sons with Leah, but Rachel is unable to conceive. Finally, God blesses Rachel, and she has a son, whom she names Joseph.

Complicated Relationships

The emotional struggles of our ancestors can help guide us today.

More on this Torah Portion

Why We Tithe

Like Jacob, we should not wait for a better day to help others.

Dealing With Dishonesty

We can communicate the importance of honesty to our children by being honest ourselves.

How Can We Improve?

Vayetze: A resource for families

Jacob’s Anxiety

Being forced to flee from his home, Jacob had little food and personal security.

Jacob the Migrant Worker

What a forefather can teach us about human rights.

Parashat Vayetze Quiz

My Jewish Learning: Vayetze: Pardes 5769

Jacob Out In The World

Jacob is a force for positive change in the midst of a frustrating material world.

Awaken to Activism

We must stop being silent, sleepy observers of the AIDS pandemic.

Open-Ended Journeys

Like our ancestors, we are all on journeys throughout our lives.

Sisterhood is Complicated

Rachel and Leah's complex relationship allows us to imagine new possibilities for strengthening our own relationships.

Blaming Society

We should strive to emulate Abraham and Isaac rather than emulating Laban, who compartmentalized his values.

Laban’s Excuse: Labor Ethics and Community Standards

Laban and Jacob's business relationship teaches us about the importance of ensuring ethical working conditions.

On Dreams And Reality

The rabbinic understanding of Jacob's ladder as symbolic of the altar or Sinai provides us with imagery and metaphors for enhancing our spiritual lives.

God Was In This Place And I Did Not Know

Jacob's response to his dream provides us with two models of discovering God's presence.

Jacob’s Contract with God

Jacob's covenant with God teaches us that our relationships with God must not be conditional, but rather should be built on trust.

Children And Deferred Dreams

Reflected in the names of her children, Leah grows to recognize her own worth, independent of Jacob's feelings for her.

I Have A Dream…

Jacob's response to his dream teaches us to turn our dreams into visions and our visions into reality.