Headlines »

May 25, 2024 – 10:48 pm | Comments Off on The Real You22 views

Michelangelo once said, “I saw the angel in the marble and carved until I set him free.”
The essence of every Jew is a beautiful perfect soul. It is unmarred by ego, immaturity, insecurity, obsession, or any other form of human weakness. This beautiful soul, more pristine than the angel in …

Read the full story »
Parsha Insights

Where Biblical law and Torah tale is brought vividly to life

Concepts

The Jewish perspective on topical and controversial subjects

Life Cycle

Probing for meaning in our journey and its milestones.

Yearly Cycle

Discover depth and mystique in the annual Jewish festivals

Rabbi’s Desk

Seeking life’s lessons in news items and current events

Home » Vayishlach

Vayishlach: The Lazy Self

Submitted by on December 5, 2005 – 5:53 pmNo Comment | 2,498 views

Grappling with an Angel

Having transported his family and possessions to the far shore of the Yabok River Jacob returned to retrieve a number of small items that were inadvertently left behind. The Torah tells that once he returned “He grappled with a man… till the dawn rose.” The Midrash teaches that this man was in fact an angel, specifically, the angle responsible for Esau and his progeny.

The Little Things

This story has tremendous application in our daily life. Esau’s angel represents our Yetzer Hara, evil inclination. The small items represent Judaism’s little things; the diminutive, seemingly inconsequential, mitzvahs and sins that we sometimes inadvertently forget.

If he had his way, our Yetzer would persuade us to forgo them. If you inadvertently forgot to do a Mitzvah it is not worth your effort to return and retrieve it, argues the Yetzer, just leave it behind and move on. Jacob struggled against this angel, he deliberately returned to his end of the river to retrieve those little mitzvahs that the angel would have him abandon.

Till Dawn Breaks

Just as Jacob, the father figure of the Jewish people, overcame the angel when dawn broke so too will dawn break when we overcome our Yetzer. The morning will fill with light and we will see the truth of G-d before our very eyes.

May that time come soon.

Tags: