Leah’s Blog – Nov 29 2023
Parshat Vayishlach – November 30 2023
The terrain and setting in which we live affects us for the good and the bad depending on how we internalize, sift and make sense of the intervention in it and of it. Bustling avenues or quiet tree lined streets are just one dimensional description of a place. Sure, it creates a mood, the setting, but there is more to it than meets the eye. Still, the wider known vision of a place contains opposing rules and values such as darkness and light, right and left, and on a deeper level a moral sphere- good and evil that exists there. Dualism is in everything- our task: to make harmony, sift out the bad and encourage the good. The juxtapose of a place creates energetic flows – like where I live and am writing to you from: facing the mountains of the Blessing and the Curse. My window faces the animation of what appears as a complex paradox, and now it is affecting the entire world. I’ll explain.
It was here “in my neighborhood” that we learn of the first nightmare that happens to Israel; the kidnapping and bitter rape of Dina. The Torah teaches that Dina, a little girl of just eight years old “went out to see…” while all the time Dina was actually being watched. There was more than meets the eye; things more difficult to understand at first glance. Not far from here Yosef was “sold” and taken down the path to Egypt where he spent many years in a dark prison cell. Riddled with worry and anguish Yisrael never thought he would see his son again. These difficult painful things reawaken acts of barbarism much like the horrors of knowing our hostages today are not nearly all out now. The wicked still have power, the inferno does not leave us for a second. This is the first time I really understand Parshat Vayishlach. None of us have been the same since October 7. We were being watched as we thought looking at them was enough. Our “little sister Dina” is still not with us as the families of the kidnapped, many of them children, live in doubt and worry along with all of Am Yisrael. The bereaved families can have no solace. The sheer evil of the event of October 7 has caused us to dismay, dread and disgust. The families of soldiers fighting are holding their breaths that they can finish the job, praying for their safe return. Jews worldwide feel the pain as well as all lovers of Zion wherever they may be. We are one nefesh. Things were percolating for some time. Now they have boiled over. This is the final foundational clarification that draws the light out of the darkness, the way each of us is involved some way in this nightmare. This is time to choose good over evil.
From the leaning tower of Pisa, to the Eiffel Tower, to the streets of London, the gates of the White House and the Manhattan Bridge; the statue of Benjamin Franklin, all were defaced, the mob chanted “From the river to the sea” but we know the deeper level: The Jordan to the sea Israel will forever be. The conduit for choosing good over evil comes out from this place, my vista. The narrative has another side as well. It’s not all horror stories. It is here that the tribes come together as one nation, as now, to declare allegiance to Hashem and to the Torah, this is the instruction, this is the modus operandi. The heart of Israel is the focal point here in this story. You can’t rebrand a land as you cannot rebrand a people. You can’t rebrand our sacred heritage sites and call them “Area A” or “territories” or “West whatever”. The narrative of the old nostalgic stories are here to reinforce important lessons in policy. They are deeply rooted into our psyche and into our souls. Now the subconscious has been made conscious. No excuses. Nostalgia forces us to act.
The story of the taking and violating of Dina also has a tactical lesson that we learn out from Shimon and Levi. Erasing the enemy, the strong spirit of DIN TZEDEK (true justice). We here in Israel wait in apprehension to finish the beastly adversary completely. We need to return to the original well planned, prudent clever and calculated approach. Erase the desecration of G-d’s name from this earth.
Shabbat Shalom, Leah