On Friday, December 16, Millburn USY led Kabbalat Shabbat services. As part of this annual tradition, Miriam Engel delivered a Dvar Torah on the parsha, which we are pleased to share here.
Shabbat Shalom! My name is Miriam Engel and I’m the Vice President of Religious Education on the Millburn USY Board.
This week’s parsha, Parshat Vayishlach, continues the story of Jacob; from his encounter with Esau, through Benjamin’s birth and Rachel’s death, and finishing with his arrival in Hebron. We also get a detailed list of Esau’s family: his wives, his children, and his grandchildren.
Throughout the parsha, there is a heavy emphasis on family. Considering the importance of Jacob’s bloodline this isn’t that surprising. Jacob’s sons would go on to sire the 12 tribes, eventually leading to us, the Jewish community today.
The Torah teaches that we are all part of one big family, and nowhere is that more obvious than at USY, Chaverim, and Kadima. Throughout the year, the events the youth groups host give Jewish kids and teens the opportunity to socialize and have fun, while also learning about Israel and the Jewish culture. Even though we’re not directly related, everyone in these youth groups is part of a family. I’m glad to say that I have been a member of that family for seven years now, and I am yet to encounter a group of people more welcoming or more warm.
As Religious Education Vice President, my job is to incorporate Judaism and faith into our USY planning and events; events such as this one. Getting to lead the Kabbalat Shabbat service for Youth Group Shabbat is one of the highlights of the year, not only because it gives us an opportunity to learn and participate in the service, but also because it gives us a chance to thank this congregation for everything it does for the youth groups. Your help and support make these amazing groups possible.
I’d also like to thank everyone who lead and participated in the service tonight. And everyone who came out to support us. Mazel Tov to Lily for your bat mitzvah, and thank you for letting us share this evening with you. I wish you all a happy week, Shabbat Shalom.
To learn more about youth groups at CBI — USY, Kadima and Chaverim — please visit our website HERE!