• Home
  • Parashah Insights
  • Ask the Rabbi
  • Festivals & Fasts
  • Articles
  • Books
  • About
  •  

    Struggling alone – Vayyishlach

    Jacob’s struggle was when he was by himself. The Torah says he was alone – Vayyivater Yaakov levado (Gen. 32:25).

    In a historical sense that has been Jacob’s fate throughout the ages.

    Very rarely have others sided with the patriarch’s descendants. In good times the nations have praised the quality of Jewish ethical teachings and home life. In difficult times there has generally been no sign of Jacob’s erstwhile friends.

    This is not news; we know it all too well.

    But how about reading the story in a personal psychological sense, that there have been many times when Jacob, alone, on its own, struggled with himself?

    It has never been easy to be a Jew, nor has it ever been easy to be an ethical person. There has always been a temptation to give up the struggle and become like everyone else, no longer being scrupulously careful to stick to principle.

    It is no wonder that Psalm 15 praises the righteous person who upholds his personal integrity “to his own hurt”.

    Comments are closed.