Deeds of the fathers

Vayishlach has the well-known encounter between Yaakov and Eisav after a separation of many years.

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Phil Chernofsky,

Jewish man on the Temple Mount
Jewish man on the Temple Mount
Flash 90

We've explored this in the past, but we need to continually review, understand, and internalize the message.

Vayishlach has the well-known encounter between Yaakov and Eisav after a separation of many years. Was Eisav's kiss sincere or wasn't it? That seems to be the subject of debate.

What is not debated, what is stated emphatically, in clear and simple terms is THE FACT OF JEWISH LIFE - that Eisav hates Yaakov. And not just Eisav and not just Yaakov, but the Eisavs of the world throughout the generations hate the children of Yaakov, the Jewish People. And not just the Eisavs and the Amaleks - but Arabs and Moslems and many non-Jews of many different types.

Is this a generalization? Of course it is. Are there non-Jews who do not hate the Jews? Of course. There are Arabs and Moslems who don't hate us. But there are so many, many people and groups and countries who hate us - The Jewish People and the State of Israel.

They are outspoken on the subject and they have demonstrated that hatred far too many times by their actions. Eisav's hatred for Yaakov comes in two importantly distinct flavors. There are those who hate us in an absolute way. And there are those who would hate us less - and maybe even like us - if we were less different from everybody else. But that's never going to happen. (Or it should never ever happen.) We are a separate and distinct people who are supposed to be different. Not arrogant about it, but aware of the vital importance of being different and distinct. Fact of Jewish Life.

Not pessimistic; just realistic. But let's finish on a high note: John Adams, 2nd president of the United States said this about us: I will insist the Hebrews have [contributed] more to civilize men than any other nation.

If I was an atheist and believed in blind eternal fate, I should still believe that fate had ordained the Jews to be the most essential instrument for civilizing the nations. They are the most glorious nation that ever inhabited this Earth.

The Romans and their empire were but a bubble in comparison to the Jews. They have given religion to three-quarters of the globe and have influenced the affairs of mankind more and more happily than any other nation, ancient or modern.


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