Posted in Dvar Torah, on December 3, 2014

Dots on a Kiss – Parshat Vayishlach – Rabbi Dr. Joseph S. Ozarowski, NCSY Chicago Regional Director Emeritus

In a dramatic moment, feuding brothers Esau and Jacob reunite and greet each-other with an embrace and a kiss. In the Torah, the word ‘and kissed’ וַׄיִּׄשָּׁׄקֵ֑ׄהׄוּׄ is marked with dots above it, noting that we should pay special attention to the word.

Rabbi Dr. Joseph S. Ozarowski, an NCSY alumnus and former Chicago NCSY regional director, draws a parallel between the ambiguity of the patriarch Jacob and Esau’s reunion, (and note that Esau’s progeny are said to have founded the Roman Empire), with today’s relationship between the Jewish people and the wider culture in which we we live. Specifically, he investigates how we as Jews can treat the secular holiday of Thanksgiving versus Christmas and New Years.