This coming Shabbat (December 1, 2012) of Torah readings completes a three-week saga of the struggle between two brothers –- Esau, older, stronger, rougher; and Jacob, weaker, smoother, sneakier, wilier. This is one of the many-times repeated exploration in the Book of Genesis of the struggle between older and younger siblings – all, I think, to teach the same lesson. In this third week, the Esau-Jacob struggle is resolved in reconciliation.
Ironically, these three weeks are the same three weeks in which we’ve been suffering the Gaza-Israel War –- its lead-up, its explosion, and its cease-fire. The cease-fire certainly does not mean Israel and Palestine have yet achieved a reconciliation. But the arc of our just-lived history and the arc of the Torah story bear some resemblance. Indeed, the Torah story might teach us