Lech Lecha — kum hitalekh ba’aretz, get up and walk yourself around the land, God tells Abraham after giving him spiritual title to it. We can only truly know what is ours, and appreciate (and protect) it, when we study the land carefully, and slowly, at pedestrian rather than automobile or airplane speed.
Chayei Sarah — it’s all about intergenerationality, ledor vador, as Abraham’s servant’s travels in Chapter 24 to find a wife for Isaac demonstrate; what are we doing to ensure the healthy appearance of a new generations, into a healthy world?
Vayetze— Jacob’s classic dream is followed by the all-important awareness, which can be spoken of every spot on God’s good Earth, as well as the site of holy dreams: “Surely God is present in this place, and I did not know it!” (28:16).
V’shinantam l’vanecha, and you shall teach / rehearse these [words] to your children” – Deuteronomy 6:6, also appearing in the V’Ahavta paragraph of the Sh’ma. Tradition teaches that immediately after establishing a cemetery and a mikvah – necessary for life cycle events on any given day – Jewish moving into a new area would establish a school right away. School before shul – since a future generation of shul-goers has to be trained, that education must begin right away. Kids, much more than adults, tend to have an innate bond with other creatures, and with the environment. We can tap into their sense of wonder, their steep learning curves and insatiable curiosity, and their love of nature. In doing so, we not only further these noble attributes (and help them continue into adulthood!), we also deepen their Jewish identities by linking ‘Judaics’ with what they already know and love about the world around them.