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וַיִּהְיוּ בְעֵינָיו כְּיָמִים אֲחָדִים בְּאַהֲבָתוֹ אֹתָהּAnd they seemed to him but a few days (Genesis 29:20)

12/06/2019 12:49:22 PM


We read that the seven years that Jacob worked for the right to marry Rachel “seemed to him but a few days in his love for her” (29:20). Logic, one might assume, should provoke the exact opposite sentiment. Why, then, did it only seem like a short time? Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel of Apt explained that in reality there are two types of love. The first kind of love cleaves the lover to the beloved in the yearning for the positive feelings he or she will derive from their relationship. In this type of love, every hour of separation evokes pain and anguish. The second, and truer, love does not demand reciprocation. Instead, it represents a mutual identification and connection that is independent of physical proximity. Jacob experienced this second kind of love for Rachel. For this reason, Jacob’s love endured despite the forced separation, with his years of service feeling like mere days. 
Just as Jacob’s powerful bond to Rachel was rooted in pure love rather than the expectation of personal gain, America’s strong support for the State of Israel does not depend on expected benefit, but rather on the shared values of democracy, freedom and self-determination. 
The values shared by the U.S. and Israel emphasize the deep roots of the longstanding friendship. Both nations were founded by refugees seeking political and religious freedoms. Both were forced to fight for independence against foreign powers and both have absorbed waves of immigrants seeking political freedom and economic well-being. These common standards ensure that the alliance continues to flourish and America continues its long tradition of staunch support for a strong, safe and secure Israel. Like the strong relationship between Jacob and Rachel, the U.S.-Israel bond has stood the test of time. 

Please join us this Shabbat morning as we welcome Jason Pressberg, AIPAC director for the Greater Washington area. He will discuss the myriad ways the U.S. and Israel benefit from a partnership rooted in shared values. From agriculture to technology to security to medicine and academics, countless innovations shared with the rest of the world are the direct result of this unique cooperation.

Shabbat Shalom!

Wed, April 14 2021 2 Iyyar 5781