Jacob had left the Land of Israel for two reasons.
One, his brother Esau was furious that Jacob received the blessings from Isaac.
And was planning to kill him.
Second, his mother Rebecca sent him to her family to find a wife.
Jacob was now returning to his parent’s home in Israel. (Genesis 32:4)
… One problem.
Esau was on his way to confront Jacob.
With an army of four hundred men!
Was with his family!
In a way, this sums up world history.
And the encounter between the Jewish People and other “great” empires.
The “mighty army” versus “family!”
Two ways to look at what’s important in this world.
Is it the quality of human life?
And political and military power is only used to defend that.
Or is it military power that’s important.
And everything else is there to serve that goal.
It may seem obvious to us.
But it wasn’t in ancient Greece.
Where the most meaningful thing a mother could do?
Produce strong soldiers for the State!
… Jacob was frightened. And distressed. (32:8)
The Talmud picks up on the two terms.
Jacob was afraid?
That’s obvious. Because he might get killed.
And he was distressed?
Because he may be forced to kill!
… We’ve mentioned it once before.
And its very worth repeating!
Golda Meir was asked if she could ever forgive the Arabs for killing Jewish boys.
Her amazing answer?
“Someday I may be able to forgive them for that.
But I can never forgive them for making Jewish boys kill!”
… Golda Meir would describe herself as totally secular.
And she was.
But not really.
There’s really no such thing as a totally secular Jew.
Many Jews don’t realize how much they have been affected by religious values.
By the Torah!
How did Golda Meir come to give such a beautiful answer?
Such a Jewish answer?
Because while other children were being taught to become mighty warriors.
Jewish children were taught something else. For thousands of years.
They were taught to hate war!
How Jacob was distressed that he may have to kill.
And they were taught to become very sensitive people!
All the best,