Unfortunately with events that took place this past week, the question of how to survive in a hostile world is particularly apt. In this week’s parsha, Jacob leaves Beersheva, a very familiar and comfortable environment, to go to Haran, which is foreign and unwelcoming. This is extremely painful for Jacob as he is alone, in a hostile setting and with no idea of what will be in the future. How does he survive in this situation? He has a dream. A dream which gives him hope, drive and motivation. Jacob’s dream is a prophetic vision but the notion of hope is central to everyone when it comes to the question of survival. We see this again when Jacob is in the home of Laban where his drive and motivation become his love for Rachel. He overcomes struggles and setbacks and is able to continue because he retains his goal of marrying Rachel as his focus. Eventually we see that Jacob stands up to his father-in-law, the results of which are that he prospers. Rabbi Schweiger in this week’s parsha, highlights the coping mechanisms Jacob is able to draw on in order to survive and indeed thrive in a difficult and very challenging world.
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