Welcome to Torah portion Vayishlach.

Vayishlach means And He sent.

Scripture passage: Genesis 32:4-36:43


Read Aloud from My First Torah

Jacob began traveling back to his home.

But he was still afraid of his brother, Esau.

Then he found out that Esau and 400 men were ahead of him!

He divided all his people and animals into two groups.

Then one group could escape if the other group was attacked.


Jacob sent gifts to Esau.

He sent many goats, sheep, camels, cows and donkeys.

He sent servants with each group of animals.

Each group told Esau that the gifts were from his brother, Jacob.


Jacob stayed by himself and waited.

That night, a man came and wrestled with him all night.

The man knocked Jacob’s hip out of joint.

Jacob demanded that the man bless him.

When he asked for the man’s name, the man would not tell.

But the man did bless Jacob and changed Jacob’s name to Israel.

Israel means to overcome.

Then Jacob knew that he had wrestled with Elohim.


The next day, Jacob saw Esau coming toward him.

Jacob split his family up, with Rachel and Joseph in the back.

They were his favorites.

Esau and Jacob hugged, but only to be polite.

Esau was still angry with Jacob.

Jacob sent his gifts with Esau and they each went their own way.


Jacob was very glad to finally get back to his homeland of Canaan.

He even bought a piece of land to live on.


One day, his daughter Dinah went out with some girlfriends.

She ended up getting in a lot of trouble with Prince Shechem.

He wanted to marry her and let his men marry Jacob’s other daughters.

But Elohim had told them not to marry outside their family.

So Simeon and Levi tricked Prince Shechem.

They killed all the men of his city.


YHVH came to Jacob.

He told Jacob to travel to Bethel and build an altar.

So Jacob took all the false gods from his people.

He traveled to Bethel, and Elohim protected him on the way.

Elohim made a promise to Jacob.

He promised to give the land to Jacob’s family.

He promised that a whole nation would come from Jacob’s family.

Jacob put a special gift, an offering, on the altar.


Soon Rachel had another boy, named Benjamin.

But Rachel died after he was born.

Jacob was very sad.

He buried her in Bethlehem.

Isaac died at 180 years old.

Jacob and Esau buried him.

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Suggested Activities

Copywork passage: Genesis 32:9-12

Torah writing prompts, writing ideas for your older child drawn from each Torah portion.

Coloring pages: Aish   Challah crumbs

Read aloud stories: Aish

Worksheets for different ages: One Torah for all

Older child studies: Torah explorers   Restoration of Torah

Project Torah portion

Context for kids video

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Genesis/Beresheet ideas

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