This week’s Jewish Bible reading contains one of our most poignant stories. Jacob wrestles with an angel from dusk until dawn.
He survives, but he emerges with a limp, a sign of the struggle he experienced and will continue to face his entire life.
All of us are limping after the horrific acts of terrorism in Paris this week. Paris symbolizes the values of freedom and democracy that are an anathema to much of the world. Seeing the hundreds murdered and injured leaves us in utter pain and shock.
Yet, when Jacob finished wrestling with the angel, he asked him for a blessing. According to the Jewish sages, this teaches us to try to find a blessing within every struggle.
Finding a Blessing
It is too early to find a blessing in the mayhem we have witnessed in Paris. Yet, we can find traces of a potential blessing in the voices from all religions, including moderate Muslims, who have condemned these despicable acts of hate and terrorism.
In the coming days and weeks, let us find ways to join with them in the critical work of bringing peace and security to Europe, Israel, America and all those places where forces of light and darkness continue to clash
Our prayers join with those of people around the world. May our Eternal God, the One who makes light and peace, bring peace to the City of Light. Amen