Sorry I missed you yesterday.
I enjoy this much more than two hours at the dentist!
… Jacob is about to be confronted by Esau.
But not so fast.
First, Jacob had a very mysterious experience. (Genesis, 32:23-32)
He had taken his family and his possessions across the river.
And was now all alone.
Suddenly, a stranger started wrestling with him. Straight through the night.
And when the stranger saw that he could not bring him down?
He struck Jacob in the thigh. Dislocating his hip joint.
And, as a result, Jacob limped.
… Jewish tradition says that this “stranger” was an angel.
It represents a spiritual struggle.
The “wrestling match” is symbolic of the Jewish future.
It’s about the forces that would try to destroy us.
And our struggle for survival.
It’s an amazingly accurate picture of Jewish history.
How one great empire after another tries to destroy us.
Tries to bring us to the ground.
And one after another?
We may have come away limping. But we survived. And flourished.
And they’re gone!
The Babylonians. Persians. Greeks. Romans…
… Have you ever wondered why you can’t get a kosher filet mignon?
It goes back to this story.
The Torah says that we should not eat the sciatic nerve. (32:33)
It’s the place where Jacob was hit.
And the Torah wants us to remind ourselves of the story. And its message.
… So in order to eat the hindquarter of an animal?
The nerve has to be carefully removed. Which is very time consuming.
And in America? Time is money. So it’s not done.
They just sell the whole hindquarter as non-kosher.
… If you needed another reason to visit Israel?
Meat there is so limited that it’s worth removing the sciatic nerve.
… In Israel you can have your filet mignon and eat it!