This week’s Parsha, Toldot (Generations), tells the story of the birth of twins, Jacob and Esau, to Rebecca and Isaac. Filled with drama, it features parental favoritism, sibling rivalry, birthrights, and blessings. It also features lentil soup – a red stew that Jacob offers a famished Esau in exchange for his birthright.

Several years ago, when my kids were much younger, I started to make lentil soup on Friday nights on Shabbat Toldot. It was a way to start a conversation and to make them curious.

Last week, a few days before our Shabbat celebration in honor of our Building Tomorrow Together campaign, I was talking with a congregant, Jennifer Schnepper. She mentioned that she was planning to bring her 12-year-old son to the celebration and explained how she wants him to both see and live Jewish values, to see the commitment it takes to support a temple, to give him exposure to experiences to make him curious, to ask questions, and to start a conversation.

It is a wonderful example of dor l’dor –transmitting values from generation to generation.

Jennifer and I have been talking quite a bit lately. She works for American Friends of  Magen David Adom (AFMDA), and we have been discussing a special partnership of nine local Reform congregations to raise money to provide Magen David Adom (MDA) and the people of Israel with a new Life Support ambulance in honor of Israel’s 75th anniversary.

If you are not familiar with MDA, it is Israel’s national emergency medical service, provider of the blood supply, and the nation’s representative to the International Red Cross. As a non-governmental organization, it relies on donations to sustain its ability to respond to urgent medical needs throughout Israel, as well as lend support for international crises. It provided medics and ambulances to assist in war-torn Ukraine and was part of the relief team in the aftermath of the earthquake in 2010.

The multi-racial, multi-ethnic, and multi-gender MDA crews of drivers and EMTs reflect the diversity of the modern State of Israel. Jews, Muslims, and Christians serve side-by-side as they respond to critical emergencies. From delivering babies to responding to acts of terror, Magen David Adom is always there to help.

MDA also provides training to Jewish institutions worldwide. In fact, our staff received MDA training this past September called “The First 7 Minutes,” designed to teach participants how to medically manage a scene in the immediate aftermath of a mass casualty situation.

Our congregation is raising funds as part of this joint effort. The Life Support ambulance will bear the names of all the participating congregations, including Temple Jeremiah, thereby strengthening our connection with Israel. If you have the ability and wish to contribute $10,000, you will also be offered the opportunity for your family name to be inscribed on the ambulance.

Whether you can help with $36; $360; $3,600 or any dollar amount, we hope you will consider participating in this effort. To contribute, please mail a check payable to the synagogue with MDA in the memo or look for the MDA ambulance option on our drop-down menu on our donations page on our website. Of course, feel free to contact meJennifer, or Rabbi Cohen with questions.

This community partnership is ending on December 31st. In honor of this partnership and campaign, Makom Solel Lakeside is hosting a concert on December 4th; Details appear in our “Around the Community” section in our E-newsletter.

In contrast to the seeds of conflict between brothers in Toldot, MDA stands as an example of the capacity of humankind when they collaborate, set aside potential differences, and work together.

And, if you are interested in the lentil soup recipe, send me an email.