Leah’s Blog Dec 13th 2019

Vayishlach – 2019 Our Rabbis teach us “Maaseh avot siman labanim” (What happened to our forefathers is a sign for every generation- even now). Segulat Yisrael began as a tiny kernel, passed from the first father to son to his son and his son. The tests and tribulations through good times and bad, the Torah tells us- is to take these foundation stones of the stories about Abraham Isaac and Yaakov and build your home with them. In the world out there today where choices seem easier than ever to make about your ideal lifestyle, they are that much harder. How much should we “open up” to the world and how much to guard ourselves from the insanity out there. A new meaning about the mitzvoth becomes infused into our reality; the world turns and the Old World stories remind us of Zechut Avot and Brit Avot- the merits of their actions, and the covenant made with them so, so long ago. Much time has passed ; we were promised and redeemed and promised and exiled and redeemed and exiled again. Miraculously, all those years of what we hoped for and prayed for is happening right now – the restoration -but we are immensely challenged like no other time before in just being able to CHOOSE to do the right thing. If Vaytzeeh, last week’s Parsha, was all about going out of the known and leaving the confines of the comfortably familiar into unknown chaos in order to grow and prosper, in this Parsha Yaakov prepares gifts which he sends ahead- an extension of his going out- . His brother boasts about “I have plenty” while Yaakov answers and says, “I have all that I need” and that need is focused on attending to the children’s pace on the journey. Family is important, sometimes the children’s needs even set the momentum. Parshat Vayishlach is all about diplomacy but also being locked and loaded when necessary. The story line takes a turn when Dina is raped in Shechem, a place where the brit can hurt if not done sincerely. Shimon and Levi come to a radical decision premeditating to wipe out the enemy. As things turn out, we find ourselves in similar situations today. We placate. We negotiate. Then there comes a time we must protect the honor of our sister. Yaakov becomes Yisrael and inherits the Land of Israel. In Parshat Bechookotay in the Book of Vayikra we are reminded of the awakening at the end of days “וזכרתי את ברית יעקוב ואף את בריתי יצחק ואף את בריתי אברהם אזכור והארץ אזכור.”-And I remembered My covenant with Yaakov, and Yitzchak and Avraham I remember and the Land will remember.” Shabbat shalom – Leah

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