Shudder or Blind?
By Rabbi Pinchas Winston
One who accepts a bribe will not depart from this world until he has become
blind. (Kesuvos 105b)
We can draw either one of two conclusions from this statement from the
Talmud: either very few people ever take a bribe (because there are not
that many blind people in this world, thank G-d), or, it is not to be taken
literally. In other words, the Talmud does not necessarily refer to
physical blindness, but to spiritual blindness as well, which, of course,
is going to be the subject of this particular d'var Torah.
Last week, Moshe gave a discourse on fearing G-d:
Now, Israel, what does Hashem your G-d, ask of you, but to fear Hashem your
G-d and to walk in His ways ... (Devarim 10:12)
Even the Talmud was astounded by Moshe's seeming over-simplification of one
of the most difficult mitzvos to fulfill, a mitzvah that, if you don't
constantly work on improving, one tends to become weaker in (Brochos 34b).
Therefore, the Talmud concludes that for Moshe, who had such close contact
with G-d, it was a simple matter to fear G-d.
However, that answer is also an over-simplification of an important point,
because Moshe was not one to talk above the heads of his students. On the
contrary, one of Moshe's greatest abilities, necessary for transmitting
Torah to entire nation, was his uncanny ability to simultaneously talk to
each Jew on that Jew's personal level of understanding. And each Jew had a
different personal level of understanding! So, why assume, all of a sudden,
that Moshe lost that ability, and at the most important point in his
This is why a better answer is that Moshe was trying to convey another
point, and that is, yetzer hara aside, "seeing" G-d is the easiest and most
logical thing to do.
In other words, all biases aside, is there really any better explanation
for all the questions about life in this universe, theological and
scientific, than G-d Himself--the "Force of All Forces"? All moral
implications aside, doesn't G-d best fit the bill when it comes to a
"natural" direction for self-growth? Rav Elchanan Wasserman, zt"l,
certainly believed so, and so would we if we would stop taking bribes to
Bribes? What bribes?
Ever notice how few people come forth against G-d in the name of "ultimate
truth" and "intellectual honesty." Well, actually, they call it that, but
it can't be what they say, because logic dictates otherwise. To be an
atheist means to have "proof" that G-d doesn't exist, and THAT for sure
doesn't exist. Agnostic? That may be possible, if only for the sake of
maintaining free-will. However, if one doubts the existence of G-d, when
there is so much reason to believe in His existence, he ought to spend
day-and-night trying to get to the bottom, or rather, the top of the
matter. Ignoring the Master of the Universe is just too great a risk, with
something like Gehinnom looming over the spiritual horizon.
So, why do so many people profess to be agnostic, happily agnostic, with
little if any desire to become clearer about G-d's existence? The answer
has been the same now for thousands of years now, for, though man's
"clothing" changes, man's essence, itself, does not.
Life without G-d is also a life without Absolute Morality, and a life
without Absolute Morality means never having to worry about doing the
"wrong" thing, a much easier, more physically and emotionally comfortable
life to live.
But, oh! what an intellectual balancing act you have to perform to live
that way. The rationalizations, and excuses for not "seeing" G-d and
believing in Him are many, and often sophisticated. However, still, in our
heart-of-hearts, something tells us, "But what if we're wrong?" Deep
inside, barely audible, a voice whispers, "What if we're making a bigggggg
Enter the bribe.
The yetzer hara chimes in and says, "Well, you know there is reason to
doubt, don't you? ... Ah, you know religion has been called the 'opium of
the masses'? ... Besides, how could you ever live in both worlds at once,
you know, the secular one and the religious one? You want to be a misfit,
you know, a relic from the past? Stick with me and you'll 'fit in,' you'll
make it to the top ... be right up there with ... with ... Besides, what
about anti-Semitism? ... And what about the dinosaur bones ... and fossils
... and carbon dating ... and ... and ..."
And, so on. It's a pretty convincing argument, for someone wishing to be
convinced. However, it is also a heavy psychological burden to bear,
because ultimately-speaking, we know it is just not true--not true and not
even logical. If I had more time, I'd give you more examples why. If I had
more lines, I'd write about all the stories of people who, just before they
died, broke out crying like a child, in fear of having to answer their
Maker in a short while, with little or no time left to make amends.
In fact, I heard one story not too long ago that involved Rabbi Ya'akov
Kamenetsky, zt"l, many years back. He was called in by a family he did not
know to a hospital to help a dying man, a secular Jew, prepare for death.
Compelled to help any Jew he could, though extremely busy, Rabbi Kamenetsky
visited the man, unsure of what to expect.
The moment the dying man saw Rabbi Kamenetsky, he burst out crying. And he
cried. And he wailed, "I've been the biggest sinner! I have strayed so far
from the truth and the ways of G-d." And he cried so more, and he wailed
some more, until he broke into a bronchial spasm, forcing the nurses to
sedate him before he coughed himself to death. Rabbi Kamenetsky, shocked
and deeply saddened by the man's condition, both his physical and spiritual
condition, comforted him by saying, "We can finish tomorrow. I will come
back and visit you again tomorrow," and he left.
Tomorrow did not come for the man, who died that night. The family asked
Rav Ya'akov to deliver a eulogy for the man he had never really met, and he
accepted out of respect for the man's family, and the deceased. As he stood
there (presumably before more people he did not recognize), he told those
gathered before him, "I never met the man before I came to the hospital
that day, nor did I have time with him again. But I will tell you one thing
for certain, this man did teshuvah--I have never seen someone do teshuvah
like this man did that day."
If only he had shuddered like that when he had been alive, and full of life!
Where was the yetzer hara that day? Dying. Where was the bribe then? It was
worthless. And there, lay a man breathing his last breaths of life in This
World, with a clear vision of truth, a natural vision of truth, what a
person sees without difficulty, when he puts also personal "shtik" aside,
and rejects the bribes of the yetzer hara. It was this, that Moshe
Rabbeinu, the greatest teacher of all, was intimating that day: all shtik
aside, seeing G-d, and valuing a relationship with Him, is the easiest,
more natural, and most human thing to do when you choose honesty over the
You must not remove a landmark of your neighbor which was established from
the beginning at the time of your inheritance which you will inherit...
This is a mitzvah to not enlarge your portion in the land of Eretz Yisroel
by pushing back the boundary marker of your neighbor. After the Jewish
people conquered the Land of Israel over seven years under the leadership
of Yehoshua, they then spent the next seven years dividing up the land
according to tribes and families. Once those boundaries were established,
they were fixed on earth and in Heaven.
"But does it not already state, 'One must not rob'? Why does it then state,
'You must not remove a landmark of your neighbor'? This was in order to
teach you that one who destroys his neighbor's landmark transgresses two
commandments (don't remove the landmark, and, don't steal). One might think
that this applies outside of Israel as well! Therefore, it states, 'of your
inheritance which you will inherit.' Thus, only in the land of Israel does
one transgress two commandments, whereas outside the land one is only
guilty of stealing." (Rashi)
As Rashi points out, increasing one's property size by illegally taking a
piece of one's neighbor's is a black-and-white sin of stealing. That is
true anywhere in the world Jews may live and own property, without
exception. However, when the properties in question are also inheritances
in the Land of Israel, then there is an additional sin of interfering with
the Divine allotment of Eretz Yisroel to the tribes.
Why must this mitzvah be added? One could say, to make the sin of stealing
land in Israel more severe, which is true in any case. It is not that
stealing from another outside of Israel is less an act of stealing; it is
that stealing land in Eretz Yisroel is more severe, because it entails a
disruption of the Heavenly boundaries as well.
This is because Eretz Yisroel is more than just another land on the face of
the earth. Eretz Yisroel, like so many other holy things in creation (like
the Mishkan for example), is an earthly replication of a Heavenly reality.
And just like every Jewish soul corresponds to a letter of the Torah, so,
too, does every Jewish soul have its unique and Divinely-ordained spot in
Eretz Yisroel, as it says:
The goal of inheriting a portion of Eretz Yisroel has been to help each Jew
find his own portion within Torah Sh'b'al Peh. (Zohar Chadash 2:137b)
That is, the Oral Law. It is called a country whose air makes its
inhabitants wiser, and a place where the Oral Law is best understood. And
developing one's own unique relationship to the Oral Law is based upon
living within the boundaries of one's own unique portion of Eretz Yisroel.
And that is why a unique mitzvah to not illegally move a neighbors
boundary-marker can only be relevant within Eretz Yisroel.
He will say to them, "Hear O Israel, you are close today to war and to your
enemies ... Do not let your hearts become faint! Do not be afraid and don't
be rushed, and do not become terrified before them." (Devarim 20:3)
War, for the Jewish people, is not a new thing. Since we left Egypt, we
have had to do battle with almost every nation we have met. However, what
has changed is the feeling of G-d fighting amongst our ranks ...
"For Hashem your G-d goes with you to do battle for you with your enemies
to save you from them."
Given the miracles of Jewish survival, and the unbelievable victories
against the odds, G-d certainly fights on our behalf. We may not always
feel it that much, but, as we saw in 1967 (Six-Day War), and again in 1991
(Persian Gulf War), G-d is with us.
In fact, the day that Suddam Hussein finally "scudded" Israel after months
of threats, and that George Bush told the Israelis not to retaliate,
promising that the America people would defend Israel with Patriot
missiles, was the same day that the second "aliyah" of Parshas Beshallach
"chanced" along. In that aliyah (Shemos 14:9), with their backs to the sea
and facing a massive and hostile Egyptian army, the Jewish people cried out
to Moshe in desperation. Moshe answered them famous words, "Do not say
anymore ... G-d will fight this battle for you!"
How's that for Divine Providence.
"But," you may say, "that verse is talking about a different period of
history. How could we imagine G-d fighting for us today, when we are so
distant from Him and barely keeping His mitzvos?!" Rashi answers that
question based upon the above verse:
"Hear O Israel ... Even though you have no other merit than the fulfillment
of the commandment of saying "Shema," you would still deserve that He
should help you." (Rashi)
Well, that changes everything. That's all we have to do--say the Shema
everyday? After all, it is only six words and fifty letters ... What does
it take to say the Shema? About ten seconds, actually, if you add to it the
second posuk of "Boruch Shem kevod ..."
Perhaps. And then perhaps, there is more, for, incorporated into those six
words is everything a Jew ought to know about living in This World,
especially when it comes to going to war.
"Hear O Israel, the L-rd Our G-d, the L-rd is One," means, in short, that
no one has power in creation but G-d Himself, even our enemies: All the
forces in creation come down to one Force, the Force, G-d Himself. So, why
then do our "enemies" seem so powerful, and so angry, and so willing to do
us harm ... and so capable of fulfilling their will? Because, says the
Shema, we believe they are ... which is why we come to fear them more than
G-d in the first place.
That's a no-no.
However, for one who recites the Shema with the proper understanding and
intention of, "Ain Od Milvado"--there is none other besides Him--then G-d
will fight his battles for him, on a personal level and a national level.
Furthermore, it will be clear that this is the case, because the miracles
will be obvious enough to him/them to prove the point--even if others don't
concur (many people weren't impressed in 1991 with the Beshallach
Therefore, when it is all said and done, the Shema may consist of only six
words and fifty letters, but, they are a story unto themselves--the entire
story unto themselves.
(I forgot to mention previously how appropriate it is that we discuss
Tehillim during the Fourth Meal/Melave Malkah. This is the meal that is
called "Seudos d'Dovid Malkah" (people actually say these words during the
meal), the "Meal of King David." This is because, King David was foretold
that he would die on Shabbos, but he never knew on which one. Every Shabbos
he lived through was, therefore, cause for praise to G-d, and he made a
thanksgiving feast Motzei Shabbos to do just that.)
It is not that way for the evil. They are like chaff the wind blows away.
Therefore, the wicked will not be vindicated in judgment, nor the sinful in
the assembly of the righteous. For, G-d knows the way of the righteous,
while the way of the wicked is doomed. (Tehillim 1:4-6)
"And that is why I would never want to be evil!" a person may think to
himself. "I mean, I'm not perfect," he might be quick to add, "... making
mistakes here and there ... But evil? Not I!"
Fortunately, that is true. History is not usually filled with that many
evil people (though one evil person is one too many!); just a lot of
mediocre people doing, sometimes, well, not so nice things. And sometimes,
even an evil thing or too.
Even Jews, many people often point out, have been capable of sinking quite
low, morally-speaking. Within the people that was taken out of Egypt to be
a "light unto nations," there have been some pretty burnt-out "bulbs." How
could that be? That is a question that deserves to be answered, and though
this d'var Torah is usually the shortest of the four, this week, it will be
somewhat of a journey into the psyche of the Jew. I believe it is worth
goingthe distance, though I ask forgiveness from the outset for being so
long-winded (that is, longer than usual ...).
We are B'nei Yisroel, and we are B'nei Ya'akov, because we descend from
both of them, Ya'akov and Yisroel. Of course we do, because they are one
and the same people. Yisroel was born "Ya'akov," and Ya'akov later became
"Yisroel" at the age of ninety-seven, on his way to Eretz Yisroel in the
year 2205/1556 BCE.
The truth is, as the Talmud points out, Ya'akov never really became only
"Yisroel" (Brochos 13a), and we see that the Torah uses the name
interchangeably. It seems that Ya'akov's name change represents a
potential, a spiritual potential, that was achieved that fateful night.
What fateful night? The night that, according to the Torah, Ya'akov fought
with a "stranger" (Bereishis 32:25), and according to the Midrash
(Bereishis Rabbah 77:2), with an angel. And not just any angel, but the
protecting angel of Edom, the future nation of his brother, Eisav (Lekach
This episode was towards the end of Ya'akov's long journey home. After
cunningly taking Eisav's blessings from their father Yitzchak, Ya'akov was
forced to flee a furious, vengeful murderous brother, Eisav. After fourteen
years of Torah learning in the yeshivah of Shem and Eiver, Ya'akov headed
off to Padan Aram (Mesopotamia), and his uncle Lavan's house.
Twenty years, two wives, and eleven children later, Ya'akov sensed it was
time to leave his deceitful father-in-law, and return to the land of his
fathers, Eretz Yisroel. He did exactly that, knowing full well that he
would once again have to cross paths with his dangerous brother, Eisav. It
was a high price to pay, but a necessary one, if Ya'akov was ever going to
return home to Eretz Yisroel.
Or was it? The Midrash seems to paint a different picture of Ya'akov's
so-called fateful confrontation:
Rav Huna began, "Like one who grasps a passing dog by the ears, so is one
who becomes impassioned over discord that is not his own." (Mishlei 26:17).
Shmuel bar Nachman said, it can be compared to leader of thieves who was
sleeping by the crossroads, of whom a person passed and aroused saying,
"Get up! It is dangerous here!" He asked him, "Are you the bad person? Why
did you wake me up? (Matanos Kehuna) You awoke the bad person and
endangered your own life!" So said The Holy One, Blessed is He, to Ya'akov,
"He [Eisav] was going his own way (i.e., his anger had subsided; Matanos
Kehuna), and you sent to him [messengers] and said to him, 'So says your
servant Ya'akov ...' ." (Bereishis Rabbah 75:3)
According to the Midrash, Ya'akov antagonized Eisav, and picked a fight
that could have been avoided. Why would Ya'akov do a thing like that? Why
would the gentle-natured Ya'akov actually go looking for a fight? Yet, on
the other hand, it was a move that eventually led to Ya'akov's struggle
with the angel, that led to his crucial name change:
"Your name shall no longer be called Ya'akov, but Yisroel, for you have
struggled with a heavenly being and with man, and have prevailed."
-a very positive sign.
Perhaps we can understand Ya'akov's intention and success my recalling an
earlier dialogue that also involved Ya'akov, and his new, unintended wife,
Leah. Rachel had warned Ya'akov that Lavan would try to make the switch,
and Ya'akov had been prepared. However, after the marriage took place,
Ya'akov found out that, in spite of his best efforts to counter Lavan, he
ended up being married to Leah instead of Rachel.
Ya'akov would have to deal with Lavan later. In the meantime, Leah, too,
had been party to the ruse, and she had to answer for herself:
"How could you pretend to be Rachel, and answer me when I called you her
name?" an angry Ya'akov demanded.
"I am your student! Didn't you come to your father, dressed as Eisav, and
when your father called you "Eisav," you responded? I only imitated you!"
Leah defended. (Aitz Yosef)
In other words, Leah was pointing out the irony of the situation. "You
disguised yourself as Eisav, and deceived your father to accomplish what
you thought was best," Leah countered, "and I have done the same to you!"
However, was Leah correct and justified? Not only do two wrongs not make a
right, but perhaps Ya'akov could have proven that his had be a "right,"
while Leah's was clearly an act of deceit. For, Ya'akov could have
answered, "There is a difference here. I was saving the future of the
Jewish people, and you were merely saving yourself! Furthermore, legally,
marriage demands that each partner accept the other as his or her spouse,
and I do not accept you as my wife! You were meant for Eisav!" (Rashi,
True. However, in spite of this answer to Leah, we must note that Ya'akov
never abandoned Leah, nor was their marriage annulled. In fact, as the
Torah testifies, Ya'akov grows to love Leah. Eventually, it becomes clear
that Leah was also meant for Ya'akov from the beginning. How? Why? What
changed Ya'akov's perspective on the situation?
Perhaps, there was an additional element to the dialogue mentioned above by
the Aitz Yosef, and perhaps it went something like this?
"How could you do this to me?! How could you pretend to be Rachel when all
along you were Leah!?" Ya'akov asked angrily.
"What are you asking me about?" Leah answered innocently.
"What do you mean what am I asking you about?" Ya'akov demanded. "You know
full well that you were supposed to marry Eisav, not me!" Ya'akov pressed.
"I did!" Leah answered.
Pause. Leah's answer would have been confusing, and it would have forced
Ya'akov to ask, "How's that?" to which Leah would have had to explain,
"When you bought the birthright and took the blessings, you, for all
intents and purposes, became Eisav!"
After all, Yitzchak did state:
"It is the voice of Ya'akov, but the hands of Eisav." (Bereishis 27:22).
-as if to say:
"Whoever stands before me now can't be the Ya'akov I knew, because he is a
simple person who does little else other than learn Torah. It certainly
can't be the Eisav I knew, because he's not so quick to thank G-d for his
successes. Whoever you are, you are a hybrid of the two!"
In other words, what Ya'akov learned that day from Leah was that buying the
birthright and taking the blessings in place of Eisav was far more than a
symbolic gesture on history's part. Rather, as different as Ya'akov felt
from Eisav to that very day, he found out from Leah that there was a lot of
Eisav within him. After all, they were twin brothers to begin with!
What a shock that must have been for Ya'akov, a real awakening for a man
that, up until then, had done everything he could to distance himself from
his evil brother and his ways. Now, it seemed from Leah and history, that
there was a part of his brother that had been following him around
everywhere he went-inside his very being!
The implications of this reality would have been frighteningly clear to
Ya'akov immediately. Within the father of the future Jewish people, and
therefore within the people themselves, was a potential to become
Eisav-like (we see the truth of this throughout Jewish history, in almost
every period). Therefore, for the sake of all his future descendants,
Ya'akov personally felt compelled to confront Eisav, but not just any
Eisav, but specifically the "Eisav" within himself, to purge himself of his
own "Eisavness" as much as he could. That meant, apparently, a rendezvous
with Eisav's protecting angel, wherever and whenever that might be.
It turned out to be by the Yavok river, and eastern tributary of the Jordan
river, north of the Dead Sea:
He arose that night, and took his two wives, two handmaids, and his eleven
children, and crossed the Yavok river ... Ya'akov was left alone, and there
he wrestled ... (Bereishis 32:22-24)
Rashi seemingly senses nothing extraordinary about the name of this river,
and says nothing other than "Yavok" was the "name of the river." Then
again, as Rashi points out from time-to-time, he only comments to provide
clarity on the simple explanation of the verse. Deeper explanations are the
role of the midrashim and Kabbalah. And, in this case, they provide exactly
To begin with, there is:
Within [the name] "Ya'akov" is the mystery of "Yavok," whose letters (yud,
bais, kuf) stand for the words, "y'aneinu v'yom kareinu"-"on that day He
will answer us"; the mystery of "Yavok" is very, very deep, because three
names [of G-d] numerically equal "Yavok" ... (Yalkut Reuveini, Aikev, 2)
According to this midrash, the word "Yavok" is actually an abbreviation for
three words which mean, "on that day He will answer us." On which day, and
who will answer us? Well, according to every other usage of this phrase, it
always refers to G-d redeeming the Jewish people from exile
once-and-for-all-an awesome day in history.
This would make a lot of sense, given that the rabbis view Ya'akov's
all-night struggle with the angel of Eisav as an allusion to the "night" of
exile the Jewish people were destined to endure (Rabbeinu Bachaye; Targum
Yonason; Tanchuma). Surviving the angel and proving victorious in the
morning is, therefore, the allusion to the Jewish people reaching the Final
Redemption in the days of Moshiach.
In fact, of all the accounts in the Torah, very few are the source of as
much symbolism as the battle with the angel that night. Therefore, the more
symbolic the struggle was for Ya'akov to become Yisroel, the more symbolic
the name "Yavok" becomes of that struggle. Ya'akov was the twin-brother of
Eisav; Yisroel is not, and the Yavok river, therefore, symbolized the
transformation from Ya'akov to Yisroel, as the following reveals:
... If a person will endeavor to learn the hidden wisdom of Torah, that is,
the secrets of Torah (Kabbalah), then he will merit to receive his Neshamah
(third level of soul after "Nefesh" and "Ruach") ... and add level to
level, and wisdom to wisdom, then he will be called a "Complete Person" ...
When a person only has his Nefesh, then he receives only from
"aleph-dalet-nun-yud"; If he merits to receive his Ruach, then he receives
from "yud-heh-vav-heh"; when he learns the mysteries of Torah, then he
receives also from "aleph-heh-yud-heh". When the three names are added
together, the gematria is "Yavok" ... (Sha'ar HaGilgulim, Hakdamah 18, p.
From this quote of the Arizal, it is clear that "Yavok" is not merely the
name of the river that Ya'akov just happened to meet an angel, fight with
him, prevail, and receive a name change. Yavok is the word that alludes to
the very spiritual perfection-and redemption-that transforms a "Ya'akov"
into a "Yisroel." This is why, perhaps, the name Ya'akov itself has the
word yavok within it, as if to allude to Ya'akov's potential to become a
And, this is why Yavok speaks of the time that G-d will answer us, because
that is the day of redemption, the time that we stop being the twin brother
of Eisav, and stop sharing his tendencies, which we have done so
meticulously at times throughout history. We have been, to borrow the
vernacular, better Greeks than the Greeks themselves at times. Ya'akov may
have physically crossed the Yavok river thousands of years ago, but every
Jew since has had to cross his own Yavok river at some point in time, to
become a true and eternal Yisroel.
How much more so is this the case in our fast-paced, fast assimilating
society, where almost anything goes! How many Jews today even know about
Ya'akov, and their inherent potential to rise above our surrounding
Eisavian society, to become a Yisroel? How many Jews care to change their
It is interesting to note, a rabbi pointed (half-seriously), that the
letters "Y2K," which stand for the "Year 2000," when translated into Hebrew
spell the work "Yavok":
y = yud
2 = bais
k = kuf
Does this mean anything special? Perhaps not. Then again, the Talmud tells
us that everything that happens in life is a function of Divine Providence
(Chullin 7b). In other words, according to Torah, there are no
coincidences, though sometimes what we perceive as a "sign from Heaven,"
may in fact, be a test of faith. And sometimes, what we perceive as a test
of faith, may be a sign from Heaven. And, sometimes, it may be both.
The trick in life is knowing how to understand and interpret what one
perceives. This is a function of knowing Torah, and the more one knows, the
better his perception of reality will match G-d's-the ultimate
accomplishment for a flesh-and-blood being. The deeper and more profound
that knowledge of Torah is, the deeper and more profound his understanding
and interpretation of reality will be.
Who even first coined the term, "Y2K"? Personally, I don't know, but it is
an interesting and unusual term, and that's what counts the most:
"That which is from G-d is wondrous in our eyes." (Tehillim 118:23)
What are the odds of these three letters spelling the word "yavok"? Does it
really make a difference in the end? At the very least, it is reminder that
all of us have to cross our own "Yavok river" at some point in our lives.
And, as the nation struggles for a definition of "What is a Jew?," we, as a
nation, are approaching a national Yavok river in need of crossing as
well-"forced" upon us by the computer age. Remember, if it catches our
attention, it is a sign from Heaven regardless of what others think.
We live in very, very interesting times. Everything is moving so fast these
days. There are so many influences, so many distractions. It is so very
difficult to be simple these days, pure, and therefore, Torah-true. What
does the year 5760/2000 hold for the Jewish people, and the world in
general? No one quite knows for sure, but everyone wonders with mixed
emotions, curiosity combined with an element of concern, that, for some,
grows with each passing day.
What we have to realize is that it is the Yavok river that we are
approaching, that awesome day that G-d "will answer us," after thousands of
years of exile. What does it depend upon? It depends upon a willingness on
the nation's part to confront the Eisav within us, to expunge ourselves of
it, to fight with heavenly beings and man, and to prevail.
Then, and only then, will we finally assume the name "Yisroel," forever.