Sivan Rahav-Meir / The Daily Portion / Finding Strength From The Parshah

By Sivan Rahav-Meir/Translation by Yehoshua Siskin
Posted on 12/02/23

Here are two verses from this week’s Parshah - that can give us strength these days. This is how Yakov’s struggle with Esav is described:

• And a man wrestled with him until dawn. Before the physical encounter with Esav, a spiritual struggle takes place: a battle at night with a mysterious figure that represents Esav, who forces Yakov our father to face his role in the world. Struggles like that - then and now - force us to go through a poignant internal investigation. We are tested and rebuild, connect to our identity, remembering who we are. In this battle Yakov receives the name that will accompany us to this day.

• And he said: "Yakov will no longer be your name because he is Yisrael - because you have served with God and with men and have prevailed.” The mysterious enemy leaves, but before that he gives us a great gift. Many times we grow from crises and difficulties. The enemy tells Yacov that his old name, Yacov, is no longer relevant. He was called Yacov when he held Esav’s heel when he was born after him, and all his life he wanted to be the firstborn. But out of the war he rose and received a new, more honest name, Yisrael. A new page opens in his history. Yisrael lives on.