Passover celebrates freedom, exemplified in the story of our Exodus from Egypt. That
story leads our entry into Israel—not exactly a simple redemption tale. Especially not
now, as Israelis and Palestinians continue to fight for their mutual Promised Land, and
to shed blood in pursuit of its ownership.
In light of that situation, some of us may have complicated feelings about identifying
with Israel. But “Israel” doesn’t refer only to the Land. “Israel” is the name which was
given to Jacob after he spent the night wrestling with an angel of God. Therefore “the
people Israel” can be interpreted as “Godwrestling people”—“people who take on the
holy obligation of engaging with the divine.”
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