Dvar Torah Parshat Vayishlach 2012 5773

There are only three Mitzvot in Sefer Bereshit and one of them is in this week’s Portion. This Mitzvah is known as גִּיד הַנָּשֶׁה, GID HANASHE, “the displaced sinew on the hip-socket.” (Gen. 32,33)

The reason for this negative commandment, that prohibits us from eating this sinew, is well known. Yaakov remained alone in the night and fought with a man that turned out to be an angel. Since this opponent could not overcome Yaakov he struck the socket of Yaakov’s hip and dislocated it.

Hence, in memory of this event we are forbidden from eating this sinew.

Why is this incident so important that we must remember it? Perhaps there is a very meaningful reason in this event and for that rationale that we should never lose sight of it.

This man-angel tried to undermine Yaakov’s moral and ethical life. When he failed this he tried to destroy his stability so that he would not be able to stand up. He represented all of the world enemies the Jews have. They try to prevent us from living by the Torah ideals. Failing that they try to destroy us physically.

The Mitzvah of גִּיד הַנָּשֶׁה, GID HANASHE, is to remind us of the eternal danger facing us from the world and to assure us, that although they may succeed in causing us great physical damage, they cannot take away our Judaism and our Torah from us.

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