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, Eisav, who believed for the last 20 years that Jacob was dead. Due to the fact that Eisav sanctioned the murder of his brother 20 years earlier, this pivotal meeting in the bible is tense and terrifying for Jacob and his family. Jacob had no idea what to expect. He had no idea how Eisav would react.
How did Jacob 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 God in his time of need in order that God not abandon him and his family and deliver him from evil, sparing him from the possible 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 Eisav decided to attack. Of course, he would be willing to fight but still, made sure some of his family would be spared.
Why was this important? Why is the preparation from war so integral to Jacob even though he literally had God’s ear? What can we learn?
I am a Jew who carries a firearm. I write about guns. I use firearms regularly. I train people on firearms and educate them on their Second Amendment rights. Unfortunately, Jews get a bad wrap because so many of them are anti-firearm and anti-2A, 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 and has been a message for 3000 years. Someone we call our Forefathers knew and understood the importance of self-preservation and that prayers alone, although paramount, was not the only thing he had to do. It’s 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 antiSemitism 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.