Join our weekly Peninim on the Torah list!

“For you battled with G-d and with man and have prevailed” (32:29)

Download PDF

Targum Onkelos interprets the angels’ words in the following manner: “For you fought before G-d with man and have succeeded.” Consequently, the name “Yisrael” refers to one who fights “before’ Hashem. Horav Eliyahu Munk, z.l., notes that there is no indication that this name refers specifically to the battle with men. Our strength lies not in our physical struggle with human beings. Judaism’s eternal struggle is within society. Its goal is the establishment of the kingdom of Hashem on earth. In this struggle, however, the Jew does not gather physical weapons of violence. On the contrary, his symbolic armament is his spiritual values. He fights for the preservation of his idealistic principles, which are being constantly threatened by the environmental forces. His method reflects respect for human dignity, never inflicting physical damage upon those who do not respond positively to his agenda. Jewry’s ongoing struggle is never directed against human beings.

Subscribe To Our Newsletter

Join our weekly Peninim on the Torah list!

You have Successfully Subscribed!