is one possible definition of the word “Israel”
Jacob’s new name after his match with
a man, a stranger, an angel . . . himself?
what an image
what an obligation . . . wrestling with God!
yet, if we listen carefully enough,
if we live deeply enough,aren’t we all called to wrestle,
to wrestle to understand, to love,
to eventually surrender,
but not without a struggle
a struggle to grasp, to love,
to embrace . . . God?
* * *
in explaining a particular law of kashrut
the Rabbis tell of how the angel
“embraced” Jacob as they struggled
and so, dislocated his right hip
was it the right hip because
the stranger was a Torah scholar
to whose right Jacob first walked to show respect?
was he an idol worshipper . . .
we may never know,
but that won’t keep the Rabbis
and their students
from continuing to discuss and debate
* * *
in any case . . .
in our embrace of God
in God’s constant embrace of us
we are often wounded
and a part of us is
as we explore ourselves and our limits
* * *
there’s nothing like struggling
with the infinite
the revelation that is each of us
as we learn to wrestle with God from Jacob
perhaps we should also learn to ask for a blessing
as he did
a blessing for the life,
of the struggle . . .