Vayishlach 5776

Against all odds.

Maaseh Avos Siman Labanim

The Seforno explains that tribulations that Yaakov went through while inside the borders of Israel are symbolic of our nation’s tribulations during times of Jewish Sovereignty. Conversely, the difficulties times Yaakov went through while outside the land of Israel are symbolic of our tribulations during periods of exile.

The story of Shechem and Chamor (when Yaakov’s daughter Dina was defiled) is a foreshadowing of the story of the Greeks in the time of Chanuka. Shechem is a city inside the land of Israel, as well as the name of the main character in the story. Shechem asked Yaakov and his family to join his nation “and all be one”. Similarly, the Greeks were interested in our assimilation, not in the death of our people. Shimon and Levi killed out the entire city on their own, which was a huge miracle, and generations later the Chashmonim, who were in fact from Sheivat Levi (Shimon had lost the zechus because of the sin’s of Zimri in Parshas Pinchas)fought and succeeded in war, although they were outnumbered.

How did the Chashmonaim muster the courage to engage in what seemed like a hopeless battle?

It was their trust in Almighty.

The pasuk mentions that Shimon and Levi entered the city “BETACH”, with trust. Under the rule of the Greeks,the Jew’s weren’t able to keep the mitzvos or learn Torah.

The Chashmonaim, descendants of Levi, reminded themselves of the self-sacrifice of their fathers and then decided to fight in order to maintain closeness with the Almighty.

In every generation we find ourselves in similar situations. The Jew’s are few in number when compared to other nations. But our constant trust in the Almighty will continue to be our greatest protection.