Shabbat is more than a day of refraining from worldly activity.

When experienced to its spiritual fullest, its holiness enlightens all other days of the week.

We invite you to enhance your Shabbat with these words of Torah.


Yaakov fighting with the angel



Della Rocca, Rabbi Roberto
December 8, 2022

In the fight with the angel, Jacob was struck in the femur, [this affecting] his walk, [his halikha]. The text says, ‘a man wrestled (vayeavek) with him.’ The sages connect this verb to the word avak ‘dust’ because the two terms have the same root alef, bet, kof (avak), as if to wrestle with another meant to raise dust and remove the earth from under his feet, making him unstable and eternal.


… Jacob was limping. His path was slowed but not blocked… But even if Jacob was not ‘pulverized,’ the angel struck him in the sciatic nerve, dislocating his hip. He, therefore, slowed down his journey by trying…to disconnect the upper part of the person from the lower part: that is, the mind and the spirituality from what lies below, the body and materiality.


Precisely in this context, in an attempt to separate matter and spirit (which the dream of the ladder has tried, conversely, to combine forever), the ban on eating the sciatic nerve of animals intended for food arises for [Israel’s offspring].


As if fighting with the angel to become Israel also meant defending the earthly, concrete part of Judaism, where this hypothetical angel instead represents an attempt to pulverize it. [It could be said] that this was a struggle…against a certain ‘angelic’ and celestial way, a more intellectual than concrete way of living Judaism.”