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Vayishlach: Going Back to Move Forward

One of the unique and beautiful characteristics of Jewish life is in how our traditions honor and commemorate the past. Each year, we celebrate our holidays as Jews have done for generations, with the same customs, mitzvos, foods, and even the same central themes and lessons to be learned. Yet, the Nesivos Shalom explains that the Jewish calendar is like a spiral; it is not merely a yearly cycle where, for 100 years of a person’s life, one encounters the same holidays and traditions and goes through the motions. Rather, each year, we take away a new meaning, or apply a lesson learned many times over in a new way.