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    Why fight with angels? – Vayyishlach

    One of the most dramatic moments in the Torah narrative is Jacob’s all-night struggle with the angel.

    An impossible scenario? An unthinkable event? Surely angels are our friends and not our enemies.

    Even when we say that the angel in the story is an agent of the Lord, we still have not solved the problem. Indeed we have made it more and not less perplexing, indicating that it was God with whom Jacob was struggling.

    The Jewish people – the nation of Jacob – are constantly engaged in an encounter with God. Actually we find ourselves struggling on four fronts – with our enemies, with the factions within our own people, with ourselves and our conscience, and with God.

    Why do we struggle with God? Most often because we agonise over whether He is fair to us. We expect His blessings of peace, truth and justice. He responds that human beings have to prove themselves worthy of rewards from On High.

    Fair enough, but doesn’t it seem that God is using an earthly antagonist to make us suffer?

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