Deception can be rewarding, or so it seems according to the story at the end of this week’s Torah reading. Jacob swindled his brother Esau out of the birthright of being first born and the blessing from their father. On account of this theft, we are named the Descendants of Israel after Jacob, not the Descendants of Esau.
Today we see that people say one thing, and then deny it or act entirely opposite and then, are not held accountable, or in fact benefit from public deception.
And yet, we are named for Israel, the name that Jacob received after he struggled with a divine being, or perhaps his conscience. After that he became worthy of being the namesake of our people. We are “God wrestlers,” the English translation for Israel, because of him.
We must wrestle with the power of our words and their impact.
We must wrestle with a world that seems to express more hatred and place us more at risk than we used to be.
We must wrestle with how to do this in a way that is civil and with integrity and also stalwart in the defense of our families and communities.
Wishing all of you a meaningful week as our communities continue to wrestle our way into the future,