12/08/2016

Shabbat Vayeytzey

Candles December 9th 4:08pm
Havdalah 10th 5:03pm

Jacob left home. Esau threatened to kill him. But Rebekah could not say anything negative about him to her husband because Esau was his favorite. So, she claimed that Jacob had to leave to find a wife, as Isaac had, back home in Ur.

It’s an interesting side note, that despite the family being economic migrants and now were in the third generation of living in their adopted country, they still thought of Ur as their “home” both physically and culturally. Bad as Laban might have been, they still preferred his family to the local Canaanites.

But the main and recurring theme over these weeks of Torah reading, is the use of language, to mislead, to impress, to cover up intentions and to deceive. Language, Lashon, comes from the word for the tongue. The tongue is only the mouth piece of the mind. And the human mind is an enormously unpredictable and unreliable organ. It is best at deceiving itself! We humans are notoriously credulous and unreliable.

In the end the only thing we can judge are actions. How people behave. And the fact is that we are able to differentiate and the Torah differentiates between people whose actions are positive and humane and those whose actions are only self-serving. We judge by the results, not the words. And by what is better for humans, for society and for values.