Family Parsha Parshat Vayakhel: Including Everyone
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Vayakhel(Exodus 35:1-38:20)

Including Everyone


Moses had some important news to tell everybody. He had just come from the holy mountain, where God had taught him the Torah. Now he was ready to tell the Jewish people all about the special job of building the beautiful Tabernacle that God wanted them to make. The Tabernacle would be the place from which God would guide the people as they traveled in the desert. So Moses made sure to gather every single Jew together -- men, women, children, the scholars and the simple people. They all had a part to play and Moses didn't want to leave anyone out. All different types of Jews came together as one. Moses knew that for this plan to work everybody would have to get along with each other, and work together peacefully. We learn from this how important it is to count people in, even when they are not just like us. Where there is togetherness and people get along with each other, great things can happen.

 


In this story, a sensitive girl makes the "new kid on the block" feel like "one of the gang."

"TRIPLE JUMP"

It was a beautiful day. It had been cold and rainy for weeks, but the sun finally peeked out and gave everyone a treat. Of course all the kids in the neighborhood jumped at the chance to play outside and catch some rays.

The girls on Becky's street all lined up and started playing "Triple-jump," a new jump-rope game that was all the rage.

Becky was kind of new in town and went to a different school than most of the kids in the neighborhood. She felt a little shy to join in. So she sat on the sidewalk and watched as the other girls jumped rope.

"Wow, it really looks like fun," Becky thought to herself. "But they probably don't want me to join in their game," she sighed.

Just then, Laura, one of the most popular kids on the street came up to her. "Hi there!" beamed Laura. "Why don't you join in?" she asked.

"I'd love to," said Becky, "But I didn't know if I was invited," she softly added.

Laura smiled. "Of course you are! The game is for everybody. It won't be the same without you," she added with a wink.

Becky got up and jumped into the game. Everyone had a great time, most of all Becky who felt happy to be part of the gang.

 


Ages 3-5

Q. How did Becky feel while she was watching all the kids jumping rope?
A. She felt lonely and a little sad that she wasn't also playing.

Q. How did Becky feel when Laura asked her to join into the game?
A. Becky felt really happy that she could be part of the gang. She felt that the other kids cared about her.

Age 6-9

Q. Why do people sometimes exclude others from their group or crowd? Is this a nice thing to do? Why or why not?
A. When they tell somebody else to stay out, they feel like big-shots. But this isn't right because it really hurts the other person and will probably lead to fights. It's much nicer to try to include people whenever we can and try to work out the differences.

Q. When do you have an opportunity to "count people in?"
A. If a new kid comes into our class we can go out of our way to say hello and make him feel welcome. If we have a party, we can be sure to invite the whole class and not just the popular kids, etc.

Age 10 and Up

Q. When should we try to include people in our groups and when do you think it's justified to exclude somebody?
A. We should try to include people whenever we can. Just because someone isn't as smart, good looking or wealthy as we are is usually not a good reason to exclude them. But sometimes it's just not possible. For instance in our story, if a girl joined in but then kept running off with the jump rope, or totally refused to play by any of the rules of the game, it would be pretty hard to let her play.

Q. Do you think you would get along with people better if you would try to find things in common with them, or if you would see how you're different? Why?
A. If we can find things in common with other people it's easier to count them in as "one of us" and therefore get along better.If we can find things in common with other people it's easier to count them in as "one of us" and therefore get along better.

 

Published: February 15, 2000

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