This week we dove into the story of where Yaakov visits his uncle Lavan who tricks him into marrying his daughter Leah before he was able to marry Rachel. Following that Rachel and Leah have a baby-having-contest (go here for details). We explored this story, specifically with an eye for what the characters want, what they need, and how we can tell the difference. Read on for your kiddos’ insights!
What does Yaakov want, and what does Yaakov need?
- Yaakov wants Rachel.
- Yaakov needs a wife, because his mom told him to get one.
- He needs someone to protect him.
- Yaakov DIDN’T want to work for Lavan for another seven years. But that is a want not a need. He’s going to live, thrive, be able to take care of his family.
- Or it’s both! He could work for 7 more years, so it’s not a total need. But it could be a need because it’s like slavery, and he could get really hurt in those 7 more years before he gets to go live his life. There’s a risk to working 7 more years.
- Yaakov wants to not be tricked by Lavan, but it happens in life. Some people get tricked. Some families just trick each other. Trick questions… math tests…
What does Lavan want, and what does Lavan need?
- Lavan wants to marry off his older daughter first.
- Lavan needs to marry off his daughters because he is getting too old to take care of them.
What does Rachel want, and what does Rachel need?
- Rachel wants Yaakov.
- Rachel needs protection, and Yaakov can probably do that.
- Rachel needed Yaakov to ask before he kissed her. It’s a need, it’s about safety!
- Rachel needs to not get married she doesn’t want to. Nowadays, that’s so wrong! But it used to happen a lot. Your father married for you almost. It’s like the father was the one who got married.
What does Leah want, and what does Leah need?
- Leah wants to be loved by lots of people, she wants things to be better.
- Leah needs babies so she can be loved and have somone to take care of. People need to be loved because if you didn’t have love, you would get really sad, and you could get sick.
What do you want?
What do you need?
- A life
- A ceiling
How can we tell the difference between what we want and what we need?
- Something you need is something you need to survive?
- Needs are things that are good for you (like growing food).
Throughout the week we had lots of conversations about wants and needs. There was a shulchan avodah (learning activity) where we categorized different things as wants or needs. Inevitably there were disagreements. We debated the necessity of sunglasses, feeling safe, video games, and more. We unpacked what it means to need something, do we need just to survive, or do we have needs beyond basic survival? Can we concentrate on the things we need to do if we don’t feel safe, or if we don’t have enough hugs? No way!
We talked about how we can help everyone get their needs met by asking folks what they need, and telling people when we need things! We feel lucky to be a part of a community that values taking care of each other in this way.