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The Epic Struggle of Jewish Identity

Why do Many Jews Feel Uncomfortable with Themselves?

1 hr 5 min

Rabbi YY Jacobson and Rabbi Yisroel Meir Lau at the Sinai Indaba in South Africa, June 2011, where Rabbi Jacobson presented this address.

Class Summary:

This powerful tour de force on the meaning of Jewish identity in today's world was presented by Rabbi YY Jacobson in Cape Town, South Africa, June 18, 2011 (Motzaei Shabbos Parshas Shlach, 16 Sivan, 5771). The MC is Rabbi Osher Feldman, spiritual leader of Gardens Shul, Cape Town.

Who are we? Are we a parochial tribe or a universal people? Must we stand apart from the rest of the world, or should we integrate? Drawing on one of the most dramatic biblical stories about Jacob wrestling with a mysterious man in middle of the night, following which Jacob and his twin Esau, longtime rivals, embrace with love, we discover some of the profoundest truths about the drama, pain and blessing of Jewish existence. 

The lecture draws on the kosher signs for fish, fins and scales, and how they represent the cosmic and parochial components of Jewish life.

Please leave your comment below!

  • HC

    Hershel Cukier -9 months ago

    Breathtaking, inspiring , humores. 

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  • K

    Kayla -3 years ago

    Dear rabbi Jacobson,

    I'm sure you have a source for this idea that yaakov fought with himself. Would you please share that source? Thank you 

    Reply to this comment.Flag this comment.

    • Anonymous -3 years ago

      I read it in a book by Rabbi Jonathan Sacks z"l. (I have also seen it in another work on Bereishis, but I forgot which one.) Generally, our sages say Yaakov wrestled with an angel. Where are angels if not inside of ourselves?

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  • I

    isaac -4 years ago


    wow. thanks vm

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Lecture Sinai Indaba, Cape Town, South Africa

Rabbi YY Jacobson

  • June 18, 2011
  • |
  • 16 Sivan 5771
  • |

Leilu Nishmas Reb Eliyahu Tzion ben Reb Chananya Niasoff ז״ל
And in the merit of our partner in Torah, Yigal Yisroel ben Sofia, שיחי׳

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