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December 04, 1987 - Image 41

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1987-12-04

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

1TORAH PORTION

The Detroit Friends of

BAR-ILAN UNIVERSITY

Brotherly Love Has
Far-Reaching Results

RABBI RICHARD C. HERTZ

Special to The Jewish News

T

he sidrah this week
tells an amazing story
of two brothers, Jacob
and Esau. They never got
along. That is sometimes the
way with brothers.
The Bible makes no hero
out of the young Jacob. It does
not commend him for deceiv-
ing his father, Isaac, and snat-
ching the blessing from him.
Jacob had to pay dearly for
his trickery when he escaped
for his life. He spent many
years roaming about.
Finally, he grew tired of his
wanderings and wanted to
come home. By now he had
matured. He was no longer
the striving, conniving Jacob.
He had grown wiser. He had
prospered and become a suc-

Shabbat
Vayishlach:
Genesis
32:4-36:43,
Ovadiah 1:1-21

cessful Bedouin, but he still
remembered what he had
done to his brother. He
wondered, "How will I be
received? Will Esau bear a
grudge? Will Esau try and
pay me back?"
Jacob decided to play it cool.
He sent messengers of good
will with rich presents to
sound out Esau, but still
Jacob was afraid. At last, as
he neared home he reached
the river Jabbok, the boun-
dary line. That night he fell
asleep but it was a restless
sleep. He dreamed all kinds of
things. After all, Jacob was a
good dreamer. He dreamed he
was wrestling with an angel.
All night long he wrestled,
until that angel said, "Let me
go, for the day breaketh."
And Jacob said, "I will not
let you go unless you bless
me."
The angel said to him,
"What is your name?" He
said, "Jacob."
The angel replied, "Your
name shall be called no more
Jacob, but Israel, for you have
striven with God and with
men and have prevailed?'
Such was the mysterious
encounter that the patriarch
had; an allegory describing
man's universal human
struggle, for now Jacob was

Dr. Hertz is rabbi emeritus of
Temple Beth El.

no longer Jacob. He had
become a man of God.
No longer "Jacob the sup-
planter" winning by deceit
but, instead, he had become a
champion of God, a patriarch
of the people of Israel.
After the night-long strug-
gle with the angel, the dawn
came. From the distance
Jacob spied his brother Esau
approaching before him with
400 armed men. Jacob's heart
sank, but Esau was not com-
ing to make war upon Jacob.
Instead he ran up to Jacob,
threw his arms around him
and kissed him. Each one
broke into tears as they ex-
changed presents and gifts
with each other and
remembered the old times
together. They were brothers
still.
Thus does the Torah portion
describe the meeting of the
two brothers whose hate for
each other had turned into
love. Magnanimity and
generosity replaced the envy
and covetousness of the early
years. Each proved himself
forgiving and mature.
What makes a good
brother? Kindness? Yes. Con-
sideration? Yes. Generosity?
Yes. Sharing? Respect? Fair
play? All of these qualities
are part of yet another
famous story about brotherly
love.
Long ago, there lived two
brothers. They were farmers
and tilled the land which they
had inherited from their
father. The older was unmar-
ried and lived alone. The
younger was married and liv-
ed with his wife and four
children. The brothers loved
each other dearly and did not
want to divide the fields bet-
ween them. Both plowed,
planted and harvested the
crop together. After they cut
the wheat they shared equal-
ly in the produce of the earth.

One night, during the time
of the harvest, the older
brother lay down to sleep, but
his thoughts were troubled.
"Here I am all alone with
no wife and no children," he
said to himself. "I need not
feed anyone or clothe anyone.
I have only myself to care for,
but my brother has the
responsibility for a whole
family. Is it right that we
share our harvest equally?
His needs are so much
greater than mine."
At midnight he arose and
took a pile of sheaves from his
crop, carried them up a hill to
his brother's 'field and left
them there. Then he return-
ed to his tent quietly and

are pleased
to announce

Call 967-HELP

Monday-Friday
_ 9:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m.

Ruth Schwartz, ASID, NHFL

that scholarship funding will be available

Interior Designer

to qualified Michigan-area students study-

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year 1988-89.

For additional information,

"creating the possible when you
thought it was impossible"






please call the

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423-4550

Call for appt. 352-2264

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LEISRAEL) INC.

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Join us at 12:00 Noon
TUESDAY, DECEMBER 8, 1987

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THE ROSE MORGAN CHORALE

For information call:

JEWISH NATIONAL FUND

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557-6644

Bea (Mrs. Julius) Feigelman,
President
Bess (Mrs. Jacob) Axelrod,
Program Chairman
Shirley (Mrs. Jules) Kraft,
Vice President-Fund Raising

ISRAEL NEEDS YOU NOW!

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