(Haftara: Ovadia 1:1-21)
1. [32:29] “…Your name will no longer be called Ya’akov, but rather Yisrael…” The fact that Ya’akov became Yisrael is considered a big spiritual change. Maimonides understands that this wrestling was a dream. Can a person undergo a real spiritual change as a result of a dream?
2. [32:31] “…I have seen God face to face and my life was saved.” Ya’akov wrestled with
a man or with an angel or with his imaginary image of Esav. When or how did he see “God face to face”?
3. [35:10] Ya’akov’s name is changed from Ya’akov –manipulator– to Yisrael –he who wrestled with God (or with angels). His name was changed to something much more desirable. In which ways is wrestling with God so much more desirable than being a manipulator?
4. [Ovadiah 1:15] “…as you have done, it shall be done unto you…” The wicked should receive for themselves whatever bad they did to others. Is this the ultimate form of justice, or is it educational, or is it a punishment?
5. [Ovadiah 3:21] “And saviours shall rise up on mount Zion to judge the mount of Esav, and the kingdom will be God’s”. Other enemies of Israel will be destroyed, but Esav (Edom) will be judged. Does that make Edom an enemy. How should we relate to Esav (Edom)?
The future approaches, it comes closer to us. Let us raise ourselves a little, let us cleanse our feelings and our minds, and we are near it…Happy nis he who has filled his heart with life’s hope, and with the anticipation of redemption. He can already see the light of deliverance, as it sends out its rays.
–R. Avraham Y. H. Kuk, 1865-1935, Lithuania and Israel.
This study page is dedicated to the memory of Rivkah Rochel bat Ya’akov haLevi and Chaya Kornberg, and Yechiel Eliezer ben Yitzchok Meir and Rochel Laya Kornberg
And this study page is also dedicated to the memory cof Gad Eliahu ben David and Kochava–Eli Zucker