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Elul 3: Approach

by Hillel News |Aug 18, 2015|Comments

First Blast: Text

בִּקְרֹב עָלַי מְרֵעִים לֶאֱכֹל אֶת בְּשָׂרִי

When evil-doers approach me to eat up my flesh


Second Blast: Commentary

The word קְרֹב (k’rov, approach) here appears without a letter vav. Radak, a medieval commentator, notes therefore that the word could also be read as קְרָב (k’rav), meaning battle. Sometimes when people approach us, we assume a hostile, destructive intent even though the other person wanted to get close to us for other reasons. Such misunderstandings can be destructive to relationships.


Third Blast: Practice

Imagine that you are our ancestor Jacob, watching as his estranged brother Esau approaches him after years of no contact (Genesis 33:1-4). Imagine the fear that Esau had waited all this time to finally take revenge for stealing his birthright. Imagine the pain of splitting your entire household in two, so if one is attacked the other will survive. And imagine the relief when Esau embraced and kissed Jacob.


Consider how this incident can be a model for the interpersonal teshuva (return/re-setting) that you could accomplish this Elul.  


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  • 2015
  • Meyerhoff Center for Jewish Experience
  • Elul

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