Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Eloke Ya’akob. The God of our father Jacob.

Today is the 3rd of Tamuz 5770

Jacob most traumatic life experiences revolved around deception. His brother Esav was a ‘master’ of deception. Esav was an accomplished hunter, as our rabbis explained, because he mastered the art of deceiving animals, hiding his presence by acting and looking like them. Esav was also a talented deceiver of humans. He was able to make his own father, Yitzchak, believe that he, Esav was a righteous man and that he –and not Jacob- would deserve to be appointed as Yitzchak’s (and Abraham’s) successor. In this extreme circumstances Jacob ended up deceiving his deceived father…. Jacob was forced by his mother to become Esav/deceiver in order to make things right…

Still, and although he did what he did on behalf of his mother, Jacob paid a very high price for his desperate act. Later on, as our rabbis explained, he himself was deceived twice by his father in law Laban in similar circumstances. Deception as a victim or a performer, characterized Jacob’s first part of his life.

But then, he fought with an angel. Who was this angel? Our rabbis said: saro shel Esav. Elie Wiesel interpreted the struggle between Jacob and the angel as a struggle between Jacob and himself (or, from a more Freudian approach: between Jacob and the Esav/deceiver within him). Defeating the angel (the personality of –saro shel- Esav, that he was forced to adopt) allowed Yaakov to make a turning point in his life and become ish emet, a man of truth.

Jacob reminds us the value of repentance, our duty to change and our bad incorporated habits and the love for truth.

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Let everyone know the truth.