Posted on February 24, 2014
By Emily Mostow
Shabbat Shalom, CRUSY! In this week’s parsha, Vayishlach, Jacob wrestles with the angel. Jacob refuses to let the angel go until the angel blesses him. The angel responds by saying, “Your name shall no longer be called Jacob, but Israel, because you have commanding power with [an angel of] G-d and with men, and you have prevailed” (Bereshit 32:29). It says that Jacob has power both with G-d and with men. An angel is in between the two. Wrestling with an angel symbolizes Jacob’s struggle with both humans and G-d. Jacob prevailed, thus earning the name Israel which means “He who prevails over the divine”. He wins the struggle by appeasing G-d and humans at the same time, as he shows when reacting to his brother’s arrival. When Jacob receives the reports that Esau is on the way with 400 soldiers, he prays, prepares for war, and sends Esau a gift. Just like Jacob, it is our job as the nation of Israel to live up to our responsibility to both humans and G-d. By applying Jewish values to our behavior, we can earn the name Israel. Shabbat Shalom!
MELACHA MADNESS: Try to go the whole shabbos without using a slotted spoon (comes from the law against selecting).