Thou Shall Overcome – Parshat Vayishlach
Thou Shall Overcome
A very big part of the human experience is “the struggle”. In life we struggle with various things. Every person, no matter how accomplished or however successful, will find themselves occupied with challenges at various points in their life. That being said, we all react differently to these situations. Some of us enjoy the struggle while others shy away from them. There are also those who are completely overwhelmed as well.
In this week’s Torah portion, we read how Jacob had to struggle with an angel prior to his meetup with his brother Esau. After the initial struggle, Jacob eventually won. When the angel wanted to leave Jacob would not let him go until he received a blessing. It was at that point where the angel told Jacob that his name would now be Israel based on the words “you have struggled and overcome”
Many commentators suggest that this angel represented the “other side” or the evil we encounter in our lives and Jacob’s victory represents our ability to overcome, no matter how great the challenge. Next time you’re faced with a difficulty that appears too great, try channeling your inner Jacob and you will be infused with the strength to achieve your goal.
Embrace the struggle,
Rabbi Mendy Hecht