The history of the Jewish people does not run in a straight line.  From the tales of our ancient ancestors like Jacob and Joseph to the drama of our enslavement in Egypt and our eventual redemption, our story is one of difficulty and ease, narrowness and expanse, failure and success, darkness and light following each other again and again in a seemingly never-ending cycle.  To persist through all of that, to continue to go forward even when the future seems clouded, requires a different kind of strength than we normally think of.  It is not the strength of armies and battles, of force and violence.  Instead we need the strength of resilience, the ability to bounce back each time we fail, to rejoin the struggle time and time again.  That is the story that the Torah tells of the Jewish people, a story of ups and downs that still leads us, slowly, step by step, toward the vision of a world redeemed.  As we reach the end of the Book of Genesis, may its stories inspire us to be as resilient in our own times as our ancestors were in theirs.