Religion & Beliefs

A Story About You

"Change the names" goes the old Latin proverb "and the story is about you." Here is a story about you.  Jacob wrestles with an angel and won’t let him go until the angel blesses him.  The angel declares his name … Read More

By / December 20, 2008

"Change the names" goes the old Latin proverb "and the story is about you."

Here is a story about you.  Jacob wrestles with an angel and won’t let him go until the angel blesses him.  The angel declares his name is now Israel.  Of course, that is not exactly a blessing.  "You will have many children; you will be healthy; you will find joy" now THAT’S a blessing.  But a name change?

Here is where it is about you.  It is a blessing to be able to transform yourself.  My life has been a series of declarations that were wrong.  I would never be a Rabbi.  I would never live in Los Angeles.  I would never take a pulpit.  I was sure of all these things.  So either I am remarkably dense about my own nature, or capable of growth and transformation (no points for guessing which explanation I favor.)  We do not have to be tomorrow what we are today. Within all the boundaries of genes and environmentwe have infinite possibilities.

This has been a week of weird juxtapositions: time with my parents, who are both quite ill, and some national television spots, which were quite fun.  A lot of travel (fully voluntary) coupled with a desire to stay in one place.  We are not only capable of transformation, but riddled with opposing yearnings.  "Do I contradict myself?" asked Whitman.  "Very well then, I contradict myself.  I am large, and contain multitudes."

So did Jacob. So do we all.