We will know whether Boris Johnson has managed to secure a Conservative majority or if God forbid, we have an anti-Semite as Prime Minister.
These are worrying times.
However, we can draw tremendous inspiration from Jacob (not Rees-Mogg) in the parsha this week.
Yaacov begins the parsha on the run, he is forced to leave Eretz Yisrael, not knowing when he will return. According to Chazal he has lost all his possessions, he is confused, scared and probably wondering what the future holds.
And then suddenly ‘Vayifga Bamakom’ – literally he bumps into the place. Here he is blessed with a tremendous dream in which Hashem promises that He will be with him and bring him back to the land of Israel.
‘And behold, I am with you, and I will guard you wherever you go, and I will restore you to this land, for I will not forsake you until I have done what I have spoken concerning you’. Bereishit 28:15
He awakens the next morning – a changed man. The pasuk tells us ‘Vayisa Yaacov Raglav’ And Yaacov lifted his feet. Rashi explains. ‘As soon as he was given the good tidings that he was assured protection, his heart lifted his feet, and he became fleet-footed. So it is explained in Gen. Rabbah (70:8).’
Yaacov’s troubles had hardly begun, yet this dream was to remain an inspiration and to carry him through the years of Lavan and bring him and his family back eventually to Eretz Yisrael.
Yet there was a problem in the dream which should have made him pause his joy.
In his dream, according to the Midrash, the ladder signified the four exiles, which the Jewish people would suffer before the coming of the Mashiach.
First, the angel representing the 70-year exile of Bavel climbed “up” 70 rungs, and then came “down”. Then the angel representing the exile of Persia went up a number of steps, and down, as did the angel representing the exile of Greece. Only the fourth angel, which represented the final exile of Rome/Edom (Esav), kept climbing higher and higher into the clouds.
So how could there be relief and hope after the dream, surely Yaacov feared that his children would never be free of Esav’s domination. Even though in the dream he did not see the end of Galut Edom, Hashem assured him that at the End of Days, Edom too would come down. With this Yaacov was comforted.
We can sometimes feel like Yaacov before the dream, scared, frightened and unsure of the future. However, we really should act like Yaacov after the dream, confident, determined and blessed. We too have received the same Divine promise of return and final redemption – but in order to merit the complete fulfilment of the promise, we to must play our part in the Geulah.
We may have not yet reached the End of Days and the Geulah Sheleimah, but as Hashem promised to Yaacov 3500 years ago, that fourth angel has begun his descent. Galut Edom is still very much alive, yet, with the advent of the miracles of 1948 and 1967, his control on our people is weakening and we have begun to regain our former glory.