Liquid error (sections/custom_mobile-menu line 86): Expected handle to be a String but got LinkListDrop
  • Group 27 Login

Beyond Fear, The Evolution of Jacob into Israel
Unveiled the soul of the Hebrew identity.

The weekly Torah reading, Vaishala, begins in contrast to last week's parsha. Last week, we started reading "JACOB left," and this week begins with "Jacob sent angels ahead of him." Jacob went into exile last week and is now leaving and returning to Eretz Yisrael (the Hebrew Land).

We will learn that this whole part teaches us what process the Jewish identity must go through when we are freed from the identity of our exile. How does a Jew go from being 'Jacob' to the identity of 'Israel'?

Jacob is the little one who surrendered to the bigger one. On the other hand, regarding Israel, it is written: "Your name shall no longer be called Jacob, but Israel, because you have commanding power with [an angel of] God and with men, and you have prevailed." [Genesis 32:29]. In this, the angel informs him that he discovered his ability to face political challenges and the like by becoming Israel. This is a necessary condition to become 'Israel.'

The first test is Jacob's meeting with Esau when he is still afraid of him, as it is written: “Jacob became very frightened and was distressed…” [Genesis 32:9]. Why is fear emphasized twice in this verse? Rashi (medieval commentator) interprets it as follows: “He was frightened lest he be killed, and he was distressed that he might kill others.”

We see that Jacob's fear of having to “kill others” is more significant than the thought of the actual danger that he might be killed. This way of thinking is still the result of an exiled moral code. He cannot confront and defeat the enemy if he cares more about the enemy than himself.

Let's look again at Rashi's commentary. He wrote - 'Perhaps he will kill others'. Who are the 'others'? According to the Midrash, the 'others' refer to one of the greatest sages of Hebrew in the days of Rome, Rabbi Meir. According to tradition, Rabbi Meir was a sage, A descendant of Nero, the emperor, and Nero was a descendant of Esau. In other words, Jacob understands that within the culture of Esau, a great soul can emerge like Rabbi Meir's. He cannot get out of his mind that there are precious elements even within the enemy. He cannot enter the Land of Israel and settle there in such a situation.

Thus, divine providence causes Jacob to fight Esau. As it is written: 'And Jacob was left alone, and a man wrestled with him until the break of dawn.' [Genesis 32:25]. When Jacob was forced (in a dream) to fight and defeat his enemy, he is now ready to enter the Land of Israel.

He will still have to face a real enemy, as in the case of the people of Nablus. In the case of Dinah (daughter of Jacob) in Nablus [see Genesis chapter 34], he is still humble. Jacob holds back and chooses not to fight. But his sons already understand the mode of action necessary for existence in the Land of Israel. In their explanation to Jacob, their father, they said: "Shall he make our sister like a harlot?" [Genesis 34:31] Therefore, they explain, we had to act.

After the battle with Nablus and its inhabitants, Jacob goes up to Bethel because, at this stage, he finally acquired the appropriate level of conviction required for the Jews of the Land of Israel. This level reaches that of Israel, which knows how to fight.

Click here and take real steps in your life today to actively participate in the ongoing narrative of the Hebrew people, to ensure a better future for the world.

More Weekly Portions

內在的聖所--猶太信仰中深刻的與神連結

探討摩西靈魂結構的象徵性深刻含義以及與現在的關聯性。在會幕內獻祭的遠古習俗。從猶太信仰的豐富傳統中汲取靈感,發現在我們的現實生活中如何建造我們的精神聖所。深入理解律法書所描述的“神聖的居所”,更好地理解信仰和與神連結。

耶特羅狂想曲-律法的全球交響

本部分Mishpatim主要是對律法書細則和案例的分析,對傷害案例的性質和傷害程度的歸類和分析。闡明了精神自由的深刻內涵和重要意義。同時說明了以色列民族和迦南各民族之間的差異。特別闡明了從人身奴役和精神奴役中解放出來的深刻而深遠的意義

耶特羅狂想曲-律法的全球交響

耶特羅的部分探討了律法和神聖啟示的本質。本部分以非以色列人-耶特羅命名,雖然摩西依然是核心,但敘事突出了耶特羅的普遍參與以及更加廣泛的、全球性的持守律法的必要性和重要性。希伯來字母數值<Gematria>的分析運用,增加了本文的深度,揭示了十誡隱藏的、數值上的意義;之後又納入了摩押女子路德,強調了律法的普世性。

Search