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Newly Constructed Mevaser Zion Community Synagogue, Israel



By Rhonda Spivak, November 10, 2010

Quite unexpectedly, a video clip created by the Goodman family, who  live in Israel, for  friends and close relatives sent out as part of the invitation for their son Eyal's upcoming Bar Mitzvah celebration, has become an internet sensation with over 70,000 views as of last week. [Scroll down to see ithe video]

It is a humorous take on a movie depicting the biblical scene of reunification between alienated twins Jacob and Esau.   The actors' dialogue in this famous scene is made inaudible, and the difference between what is seen and what the subtitles say makes for a good chuckle.

The video shows Jacob limping across the river toward Esau for the first time since he fled him, as Genesis tells it. But according to the subtitles, Jacob talks his armed brother out of killing him by inviting him to Tel Mond [in central Israel, near Netanya] for Shabbat, where Eyal will be reading “our story.”

Esau says, “I'm not coming all the way to Tel Mond just for Shabbat! Give me one good reason why I should schlepp all the way to the middle of nowhere just for some kid's Bar Mitzvah?”

The brothers’ falling-out was because of bread and lentil stew, but the reconciliation is an invitation to a kiddush with schmaltz herring and the promise of single malt whiskey. This opens Esau's heart to his younger brother Jacob, the brother to whom Esau had forfeited his birthright years before.

“You know... there will be a kiddush after the service,” Jacob says.. “A kiddush?... with schmaltz herring?”  Esau embraces his brother, falls on his neck, and kissed him. “Oh brother Jacob... of course I will come. It's going to be a wonderful Shabbat!,” he says.

Michael Goodman, the father of Eyal,  the  Bar Mitzvah-boy’s father  told the Jerusalem Post that "the idea was to enhance our regular invitation to our friends and family with something a bit more creative and fun.” 

Michael Goodman also told the Jerusalem Post,  “Our family enjoys taking photographs and making movies for ourselves to commemorate happy occasions… I wanted to make a link between Eyal's Parsha, Vayishlach and his Bar Mitzvah invitation, and I chanced upon this made for TV film from 1994, Jacob. In fact we were not sure that our guests would even bother to open the link,” he added.

The Goodmans, who made aliya just over three years ago from Edgware in the U.K., also told the Jerusalem Post ,“Despite the 'tongue in cheek' comments about thousands of extra guests, I don't think that anyone would seriously turn up to a stranger's party uninvited.” But as a precaution, there will be extra security at the events.

Goodman‘s Mevaser Zion Community is in the process of raising funds toward the construction of a new synagogue. “Because of the opportunity presented now, we would hope that the interest generated will inspire people who would like to donate towards this worthwhile project either in honor of our dear Bar Mitzvah boy, or in memory of their loved ones,” Goodman told the Jerusalem Post.

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Rhonda Spivak, Editor

Publisher: Spivak's Jewish Review Ltd.

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