* Translation by Yehoshua Siskin ([email protected])
Here are some thoughts I shared at a recent event for “HaTzaad Haba” ("The Next Step") an association for amputees in Israel, mainly those injured during the current war:
The Lubavitcher Rebbe said that he did not like the term “disabled veterans” applied to those who were physically handicapped as the result of Israel’s wars. Instead, he preferred the term “exceptional veterans.”
Yaakov Avinu wrestles with an angel of evil. He finishes the fight, but has been badly hurt and walks with a limp. Yet due to this horribly dark and bitter confrontation with evil, Yaakov achieves a new stature and is rewarded with the name of Yisrael.
That is to say: An encounter which leaves me wounded is the encounter that brings me to a much higher level. In fact, the question that needs asking is: “Would I have achieved so much and gotten so far had I not been wounded?” It could in fact be the case that from this hardship I grew enormously and reached previously impossible heights.
Today, in our fight with evil, there are many who have been physically wounded. They represent all of us and the entire nation, in a sense, now walks with a limp. But just as Yaakov rose to new heights from his struggle with evil, so may we emerge from our struggle with evil on a higher level — closer, more caring, more united, with previously unimaginable potential for growth.