August 21, 2017 ~ Shabbat SHOFETIM. Maqam AJAM.

Shabat Vayishlah

Israel

כי אם ישראל יהיה שמך - Having many challenges in life should not define a person. It is how one deals with them that will ultimately determine ones legacy. By all accounts, our forefather, Jacob, was dealt with an unusually difficult set of circumstances. Whether it be surviving a brutal exile, being exploited by his relative, or suffering from family disharmony, it is his perseverance in all of these areas that has earned him the new title "Israel." The name 'Israel' represents someone who faces struggles, with both God (spiritual) and with people (physical), but who comes out victorious. Regarding the ongoing dispute with his brother, we see that Jacob recognized that he could not continue living in a state of war and that it was best to move on by making peace. It is very befitting that our nation officially adapted the name "Israel," because we are a group constantly facing obstacles, but then overcoming them (Beth Torah, 12/17/16).


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