Special needs adoption from a Jewish perspective.

Special needs adoption from a Jewish perspective.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Haftorah Beam - Vayetzei

I think I did a really good job on this Torah portion last year -- please go back and read it!

The Haftorah portion has 2 different readings (from Hosea) for the Ashkenazi and Sephardi communities, but they overlap for 2 verses:
13 Then Jacob had to flee to the land of Aram;
There Israel served for a wife
For a wife he had to guard [sheep].
14 But when the Lord brought Israel up from Egypt,
It was through a prophet;
Through a prophet they were guarded.
Strange parallel!

  • In verse 13, Jacob (a.k.a. Israel) is fleeing from the land, while in verse 14 the people of Israel are returning to the land.  
  • In verse 13, Jacob/Israel is guarding sheep, while in verse 14 the people of Israel are themselves guarded.
  • That leaves the wife (Rachel) for whom Jacob guarded sheep in verse 13, and the prophet (Moses) who shepherded the Israelites in verse 14.  Neither of them is explicitly named in this passage.
I have spent a whole week agonizing over this.  I feel there has to be something there, but I am not identifying it. Maybe one of my 3 readers will help?

1 comment:

  1. I'm struggling with this too... and I'm ready to conclude that there's no 'there' there.

    Yes, Jacob -- later to be renamed Israel -- went to Aram and tended sheep, while later, the children of Israel were tended like sheep by a shepherd named Moses. Yes, sometimes they who lead are themselves led. This isn't terribly deep.

    Similarly, while one could draw parallels between the abovementioned patriarch and the modern State of Israel, one hardly ever does -- because, other than having the same name, there really aren't that many parallels worthy of attention.

    (I'm reminded of a time, during my IDF service, when I was waiting interminably with an older reservist, a man named Israel. It's not an uncommon name there. At one point, I happened to find a minor Israeli coin on the ground; call it a dime. I showed it to him and joked: "Hey, look! I'm rich!" He merely grunted and said, "If it says 'Israel' on it, it's mine.")


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