I struggle with parashat Vayetze because immediately previous to it, Jacob has lied to his blind elderly father and stolen the birthright from his twin. Yet here, God doesn’t just offer compassion or forgiveness – God promises to make Jacob into a great nation and that all future generations will be blessed through him. Not the best lesson in behaviour and consequences. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t expect perfection from our patriarchs and matriarchs. I appreciate that they have flaws; that they’re imperfect and they struggle. I also far prefer God’s compassion to God’s wrath. I’m just not sure that Jacob’s behaviour towards his family warranted the extent of God’s favour Jacob experiences.
The views expressed in this D’var Torah do not necessarily reflect the position of Leo Baeck College.