Where Every Jew is Family

It’s Beginning to Look a lot Like Starbucks

“The report of my death was an exaggeration!” ~Mark Twain (1897)

I apologize for missing my email last week, but I had to be rushed to the hospital Shabbos morning due to a bout of cellulitis.  Thank G-d, everything’s fine now,  I’m home and enjoying life (even though it’s with a compression sock and antibiotics :-P)  I did compose an email while in the hospital, but I had no way of sending it out.  I still think the message is apropos, so I’ll send it this week instead.


The recent decision of Starbucks to drop snowflakes from their cups has many people up in arms. They call it anti-Christian and a war on Christmas.

Interestingly enough the traditional Christmas colors of red and green are still very prevalent on their cups. In fact, snowflakes are really just a general winter decoration whereas red and green are uniquely Christmas.

So while everyone is upset about the dropping of the snowflakes, they don’t recognize the fact that the core Christmas decoration still remains.

Believe it or not, that’s with this week’s Torah portion is all about.

After Jacob, somewhat “underhandedly”, gets the blessings from his father Isaac, he has to leave to escape the wrath of his twin brother Esau.

He escapes to his uncle Lavan’s house. But he takes some time to first study in the yeshiva of Shem and Eiver. In addition, while at his uncles house he continued praying, learning Torah, and raising 12 righteous sons.

How was he able to accomplish all of this in a place so full of evil and idolatry? He stayed focused on the main goal! He realized what was important in life: G-d and His Torah. He knew that his mission was to bring into this world the next generation of righteous choose. In fact, it would be the foundation of the entire Jewish people: the 12 tribes.

All of the peripheral things happening around him – the idolatry, the stealing, and the lying wasn’t his focus. He even had his wife switched on him which could give him plenty of cause to complain and lose focus.

So let all of us remember what is really important in life and not get caught up in petty side issues.

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