Sunday, January 3, 2010

"Yadati beni Yadati - I know, my son, I know" - Breishit (Genesis) 48:19

Why did Jacob have to repeat the words "I know" and what does this have to do with being a parent of a gay child?

By blessing the younger child first, Jacob is about to teach future generations a valuable lesson. On one level he is teaching that one's actions and character matter more than birth order in achieving success and one's blessings in life. Jacob's first "Yadati" comes from his firsthand knowledge and experience that life does not necessarily play out the way we want it to.

Jacob's second "Yadati" is a form of prophecy as to what is ahead for his family and the nation as a whole. As we complete the reading of the Book of Breishit, the saga moves from the individual to the family and onto the national. What Jacob is foreseeing is a period of hardship, slavery and affliction, but with an ultimate redemption.

I have been asked what my opinion is on what has been going on at YU over the last two weeks. I have watched the video and I have read the transcripts. I have met some of those young men who spoke that eventful evening. I wrote Rabbi Blau and President Joel thanking them for their courage for allowing this event to take place. I watched the video of Rabbi Twersky and I have been reading the comments posted on some of the relevant blogs.

I would like to wait for some of the dust to settle before getting into the fray.

Heed these five words from this week's pasha. "I know, my son, I know"

To these young men who stood before the world and bared their souls and life experiences. You "know" that life did not turn out the way it was supposed to and you "know" that you can expect a life of hardship and affliction. My hope is that you will be redeemed at some point.

To the so-called "experts" who think they know....learn something from Yaakov. He blessed the younger child first. Yaakov was sending a message that one's actions and character are more deserving of a blessing than any perceived meritocracy.

Be well.

Saul David

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