Jacob was given a blessing that promised him all the worldly goods and acclaim he could want. He would be rich and important. But this week's portion, Vayeitzei, opens with Jacob using a rock as a pillow, utterly destitute and completely alone.
The Torah portion this week shows the effects of choosing one person over another. As a rabbi educator, I know that investing in every member of the community and ensuring they know they are valued contributes to our ability to thrive and grow.
Perhaps more than all the patriarchs, Jacob is the one that struggles most with the invisible. He dreams, he envisions, he wrestles with unnamed. He sees, looks into the eyes of his nemesis, his enemy, and sees the face of God. His journey is a spiritual wandering towards discovery and self-awareness. He sees into the future and ultimately is a uniting force that actualizes that future.