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This week, Fischer High School senior Gabriel Z. offers a d’var torah on parashat vayetzei.

“I am the Lord, the God of your father Abraham and the God of Isaac: the ground on which you are lying I will assign to you and to your offspring. Your descendants shall be as the dust of the earth; you shall spread out to the west and to the east, to the north and to the south. All the families of the earth shall bless themselves by you and your descendants. Remember, I am with you: I will protect you wherever you go and will bring you back to this land. I will not leave you until I have done what I have promised you.”

In the beginning of Parasha Vayetzei, Jacob is lying down to sleep for the night. He dreams of a ladder which extends up in to the heavens with angels both ascending and descending. He notices God’s presence right beside him. God promises the land of Canaan to Jacob and all of His descendants. In recent years, there has been a lot of controversy over who was in Israel first, The Jews or the Arabs. This Parshah Vayetzei is a key point we, the Jews, use in our argument.

In this Parsha, God also promises to protect us wherever we go. There is no greater proof of this than the fact that Israel has survived so long without being destroyed by the enemies surrounding them. Each of Israel’s neighbors are Arab countries which all believe that Israel stole the land from them. On multiple occasions we have been attacked from all sides, outnumbered and without anywhere to retreat, we’ve had no choice but to fight back and each time we have won. In few instances we have even gained land.

Today, the threat from Gaza cannot be taken too lightly. With hundreds of tunnels built and still being built from Gaza to Israel, and thousands of missiles falling on civilian populations this summer, god’s protection is as important as ever. Even with the Iron Dome, many rockets still make it through. Yet somehow no one has yet been killed or hurt by any projectiles from Gaza. How could that be possible? This parashah might just have the answer.

Shabbat shalom.