Torah Portion Summary

From Torah Sparks by Rabbi Joyce Newmark,

a product of the United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism


Jacob sets out for Haran, fleeing Esau’s wrath. He stops for the night and dreams of a stairway (or ladder) between earth and heaven with angels ascending and descending. God speaks to Jacob in his dream and renews the promise made to his father and grandfather. Jacob makes a vow that if he returns safely to this place he will give

God one-tenth of all he has.


Jacob arrives in Haran and meets his cousin Rachel at the well. He falls in love with her and agrees to work for her father Laban for seven years in exchange for making Rachel his wife.

When the time comes, Laban tricks him into marrying Leah, Rachel’s older sister, instead. Jacob agrees to work another seven years for Rachel.


Leah gives birth to four sons, but Rachel is childless. Rachel gives her maid Bilhah to Jacob as a concubine and Bilhah bears two sons. Leah then gives her maid Zilpah to Jacob and Zilpah bears two sons. Leah gives birth to two more sons and a daughter. Rachel finally becomes pregnant and gives birth to Joseph.


Jacob wants to return home to Canaan, but Laban persuades him to stay by promising to pay him a share of the flocks that Jacob has caused to increase.


In time, Jacob realizes that Laban’s sons resent his growing wealth and that Laban also seems less welcoming and he tells Rachel and Leah it is time to leave. They agree and the family sets out for Canaan, although Jacob is unaware that Rachel has taken Laban’s teraphim (household idols) with her.

Laban pursues and overtakes Jacob and his family, condemns their secret departure, and demands the return of his stolen gods. Jacob insists that if anyone in his party is guilty of stealing Laban’s idols, that person will die. Jacob and Laban make a covenant of peace and go their separate ways.

November 27 - 28

12 Kislev 5781

Parashat Vayeitsei 

Shabbat Begins (Candles) – 4:23 p.m. Friday
Shabbat Ends (Havdalah) – 5:24 p.m. Saturday



Genesis 28:10 - 32:3 (Etz Hayim, p. 166)

Triennial (2nd Cycle)

Genesis 30:14 – 31:16 (Etz Hayim, p. 176)

   Genesis 30:14 - 16 (Etz Hayim, p. 176)

   Genesis 30:17 - 21 (Etz Hayim, p. 177)

   Genesis 30:22 – 27 (Etz Hayim, p. 177)

   Genesis 30:28 – 36 (Etz Hayim, p. 178)

   Genesis 30:37 - 43 (Etz Hayim, p. 179)

   Genesis 31:1 - 9 (Etz Hayim, p. 180)

   Genesis 31:10 - 16 (Etz Hayim, p. 181)


Genesis 31:14 - 16 (Etz Hayim, p. 181)


Hosea 12:13 – 14:10 (Etz Hayim, p. 188)

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