Vayetzei (Genesis 28:10-32:3 )
GOOD MORNING! My heart aches from last week's terror attack in Israel. I share with you a response to those who blame Israel for being the cause of terror attacks ... "This is What You are Really Telling Us" By Naomi Ragen:
"I'm not sure the people who need to hear this will ever hear it, but I want my conscience to be clear that I said it to them.
"Dear Human Rights Activist, Leftist Liberal, Crying-for-the-poor-children, Israel-hating, Hamas-forgiving, marcher, celebrity, news anchor, journalist, writer, media star, politician, head of state. We have seen you marching along the streets of Europe, America, and the Middle East with your signs and Palestinian flags. We have heard you screaming to whoever will listen that Jews and Israelis are murderers, war criminals, and baby killers.
"You think you are telling us who we are. But actually, you are telling us who you are.
1) You are telling us that you are ignorant.
That you don't understand that Hamas is a terror organization that took over a territory that Israel removed all its settlers from a decade ago and with good will turned over to the Palestinians, and that in return the Palestinians in Gaza elected Hamas, a terror organization, to rule them, and that Hamas has been lopping bombs at Israeli civilians trying to kill them ever since.
2) You are telling us you don't really care about Palestinans or their children.
"Because by supporting Hamas, you are supporting the use of Palestinians as human shields, the use of Palestinian children to dig terror tunnels in which 160 have died, and the summary execution of Palestinians by Hamas thugs whenever they open their mouths to protest the use of their homes, school, mosques, or hospitals as weapons caches and missile launching sites.
3) You are telling us that you are in favor of genocide.
"Anyone who does not support Israel in this just war against Hamas, which is a genocidal terrorist organization that clearly says in their charter they want to destroy all Jews, is in fact in favor of genocide. You are telling us that you not only agree with the idea, but the practice, as Hamas is now attempting (without much success, thank God) by bombing Israelis and attempting mass murders and kidnappings through countless underground tunnels created only for that purpose. You are telling us you don't think Israelis have a right to live and defend their children by fighting back. You are telling us you want us dead.
4) You are telling us that you hate Jews, not just Israelis.
"Because otherwise, why would you march along, support, and agree with people who beat up Jews, shoot Jewish children, destroy synagogues, and smash Jewish businesses all over the world, just like the Nazis?
5) You are telling us that you are a racist and a hater.
"Just one more of those evil, ignorant, bigoted, small-minded people who hate people they have never met because of their race and religion.
6) You are telling us that you are ill-informed, uneducated and/or too stupid or too lazy to read history books. Because by taking up the stance of the Nazis without even understanding in whose footsteps you are following, you are revealing you don't know where those footsteps led, and the millions and millions of people like yourselves who died because of it.
7) But most of all, you are showing God who you are and the evil that is in your heart.
"For that I pity you. Because we Jews believe that God is compassionate and forgiving. But we also believe that if people repeat the same evils as their forefathers, then God's compassion ends for them, and the time for punishment begins. You are not the first ignorant, bigoted, racist, hateful people to stand against the Jews. But you just might be the last.
"By joining your voice and your body with those who hate justice, who love violence, and who follow in the footsteps of the Jew-haters throughout history, you are singling yourself out for the punishment that befalls all such people in history sooner or later. Check your history books on that one. Every people that hated Jews eventually became extinct. The Jews survived.
"Looking forward to your next march, your next petition, and your next newscast to see who you are. We already know what you are."
Vayetze, Genesis 28:10 - 32:3
This week we have the trials and tribulations of Jacob living with and working for his father-in-law, Laban. Jacob agreed to work as a shepherd 7 years for Rachel only to have Laban switch daughters on him at the marriage ceremony. This is why we have the badekin ('covering' ceremony) where the groom sees the face of his bride to ensure he is marrying the right woman before he covers her with the veil.
As Jacob tries to build his equity, Laban changes their agreement time after time. After 20 years, the Almighty tells Jacob the time has come to return to the land of Canaan. Jacob and his household secretly leave only to be pursued by Laban who has claims to put forth. The story ends with peace and blessings between Jacob and Laban.
* * *
based on Growth Through Torah by Rabbi Zelig Pliskin
The Almighty told Jacob in a dream:
"And your descendants will be like the dust of the earth." (Genesis 28:16).
What kind of blessing is this? Everyone tramples upon the dust of the earth!
The Almighty was foretelling to Jacob the many trials and travails that the Jewish people would face throughout history -- the exiles, the persecutions, the confiscations, the pressures to deny our heritage. However, the Almighty was also telling Jacob an important point of consolation -- in the end, in the final days of redemption, in the time of the Moshiach (Messiah), the Jewish people will overcome their tormentors and prove victorious, just as at the end of his life, the tormentor is buried and covered by the dust of the earth.
* * *
based on Love Your Neighbor by Rabbi Zelig Pliskin
Laban searched all of Jacob's possessions, but did not find his missing idols. The Torah tells us:
"And Jacob was angry and quarreled with Laban. And Jacob answered and said to Laban, 'What is my trespass? What is my sin that you have pursued after me?' " (Genesis 31:36)
What lesson for life can we learn from how Jacob responded to Laban?
The Midrash makes note of Jacob's self-control despite his anger. Laban accused Jacob of stealing his idols. After Laban had inspected all of Jacob's possessions and did not find anything, Jacob felt that Laban had fabricated the entire accusation (Sforno). However, despite his anger, Jacob did not say anything that would antagonize Laban or stir up animosity and rancor. He merely defended himself against the accusation and restated his own innocence.
The Chofetz Chaim taught that from here we learn that a person should avoid becoming involved in a dispute, even when he knows that he is right.
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The truth is incontrovertible. Malice may attack it,
ignorance may deride it, but in the end, there it is
-- Winston Churchill