Si Vis Pacem, Para Bellum.
This week, Jews around the world read from the weekly bible portion of VaYishlach. In it, we find Jacob along with his family, riches, and abundance of livestock on the road, preparing to meet his brother, Esav, who believed for 20 years that Jacob was killed. Due to the fact that Esav sanctioned the murder of his brother 20 years previously, this pivotal meeting in the bible is tense and terrifying for Jacob and his family. Jacob had no idea how what do expect. He had no idea how Esav would react.
What did Jacob do? How did he prepare?
Jacob took three steps in his preparation for the final encounter with his brother. First, he sent his servants ahead with gifts to bestow on his brother in order to appease him in any way. He wanted to shower Esav with livestock and riches to persuade him to act kindly to his family and disregard the death sentence he once decreed.
The second step Jacob took was prayer. Arguably the most important, Jacob turned to his God in dire times in order that God not abandon him and his family and deliver him from evil, sparing him from the death sentence.
Lastly, and the real reason why I am writing this is that Jacob prepared for war. He split his family into two different camps in order to spare one if Esav decided to attack. Of course, he would be willing to fight but still, made sure some of the family would be spared. Now, why is this important? Why is the preparation from war so integral to Jacob even though he had God’s ear? What can we learn?
I am a Jew who carries a firearm. I write about guns. Jews get a bad wrap because there are so anti-firearm which is true. I know many Jews from all walks of life who hate firearms and believe that guns have no place in society. Well my question to them is, If guns don’t have a place in society, how do we explain the fact the Jacob prepared for war? How is exercising my Second Amendment and carrying a firearm on my persons to ensure my family is protected any different than what Jacob did?
The answer, in my opinion, is there is no difference.
“Si vis Pacem, Para Bellum” If you want peace, prepare for war.
I pray to God three times a day. In my prayers, I ask that I need not ever pull my firearm for any reason, but I also pray that if I do, let my aim be true. Jacob’s preparation is a lesson for Jews all over the world. Someone we call our Forefathers knew and understood the importance of self-preservation and that prayers alone, although paramount, was not and is not the only thing we must do daily, to ensure our preservation.
We live in a time of strife and once again Jews are seeing anti-Semitism on a level never before witnessed. Now more than ever, it is time for Jews to learn from our forefather Jacob, and pray everyday that we find peace once and for all but at the same time be prepared for whatever dangers come our way. That includes purchasing, training, and learning everything you can about firearms.
Pray for peace. Prepare for war.