Thursday, December 07, 2006

Parsha Vayishlach - Gangstas in Parsha

Welcome to the thug parsha. Jacob’s sons are not just old school gangstas, they are Old Testament! Dina must have despised them. She's hanging with her posse and the prince appears. Of all the girls, he chooses her. He sweeps her up, whisks her away and takes her, apparently not against her will. He falls madly in love, lays his kingdom at her feet and promises eternal romance. Then her brothers kill him.

This parsha is also a wonderful example of peacemaking and its dangers. Shechem, his father Hamor and their community did their best to avoid violence. Like Jacob they offered gifts and kind words. They showed genuine remorse. Esau accepted the propitiation. Simeon and Levi, violent, unloving sleazeballs that they are, did not.

Here's to Esau. Like so many other Torah "villains" he proves himself the most righteous of the bunch.

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