Amidst his escape from the trickster Laban, Jacob in this week’s Torah portion, vayishlach, abandons his wives and kids to return in the night for some small vessels they had left behind. What happens next is well known: Jacob’s wrestling match with an angel leaves him permanently injured and earns him the name of Yisrael.

Now you might be wondering why one of the richest men in the Middle East at the time risks his life for some trinkets. Our Sages offer a lot of answers, but my simple understanding is this: one man’s junk is another man’s treasure.

At least that’s what I keep reminding my girls as they mock their little brother for stashing tiny treasures in his pants pockets, back pack, bed and any other place that comes to mind. And they weren’t exactly complaining about his obsession with treasures this week when it meant they could wander through a bead bazaar while he was busy rifling through a giant box of cheap, tiny beads. The kids each left with a stash of beads for jewelry making (or for treasure keeping)–all for under $5–that kept them busy long enough to let me write this post.

Check out the bead stores in our area for a great, rainy-day or any-day activity:

Ayla’s Originals in Evanston
Beadazzled in Evanston
String-a-Strand in Lincoln Square

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