From my Erev Yom Kippur sermon last Tuesday:
I’ve often thought that there’s (a different Torah portion) that is just as appropriate – perhaps even more appropriate – for Yom Kippur. I’m referring to the famous episode in the 32nd and 33rdchapters of Genesis, when Jacob wrestles on a riverbank with a mysterious stranger the night before he meets up with his estranged twin brother Esau.
Anyone who’s read or studied this text will attest that it’s a phenomenal story with deliciously rich spiritual symbolism. Indeed, I often find myself returning to this portion for its insights on forgiveness, reconciliation and personal transformation. All of which, of course, are central themes to the Yom Kippur holiday.
So on this Yom Kippur eve, please allow me to submit this story as an alternative Torah portion for your spiritual consideration. I hope its lessons will help us all engage more deeply in the spiritual work that lays ahead this coming new year.
Click below to read the entire sermon: