Encourage Uniqueness

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Vayeitzei Patchwork Elephant

Don’t just embrace uniqueness, encourage it!”

You know that long boring story about Jacob working for Laban and keeping all the odd looking livestock? Zzzz… Can we learn anything from its inclusion in the Torah?

I think so.

Jacob has a bunch of children. Each has a unique name and as we shall see in a few weeks, each has a unique set of talents and abilities. The sons of Jacob retain their individual identity and thrive in the home of Jacob, Rachel, and Leah.

Perhaps it was the appreciation for the unique livestock that cultivated Jacob’s appreciation for the unique nature of each of his children.

“Elmer” (http://amzn.to/1j8BOJ9) is a great children’s book that teaches this lesson really beautifully. Elmer is an elephant but he isn’t grey like the others. He is covered with colorful patches, with a personality to match. Elmer wants to be grey but all the other elephants encourage him to embrace his colors because that is what they love about him.

I think it’s cool that Elmer is not only embraced for being different, his uniqueness is encouraged. We are all unique. We do a pretty good job of embracing the uniqueness in others and ourselves. Elmer suggest that we encourage uniqueness too.

Rabbi Eliyahu Fink is the founder of shulontheinternet.com.
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