February 17, 2018


The weekly portion deals with situations of immediate threat. Yaacov return back home after more than twenty years and the first person he meets is his brother, Essav, which comes to kill him and his family. Afterwards the Torah is telling us about the rape of Dinah, Yaacov’s daughter, by Shekhem Ben Hamor and the retaliation of her brothers – Shimon and Levy – that killed all the males in Shekhem city, exploiting the delicate situation of them after they all circumcised themselves in order to unite with Yaacov’s family. While Yaacov flees from revenge, Rachel his wife gave birth to Benjammin and dies and buried on the way in Beit Lehem.

The great sages learn from the meeting of Essav and Yaacov how to behave whenever we face a major trouble. We should prepare three things: Gifts (of appeasements), Pray and prepare to war. And so, Yaacov is preparing a psychological formation meant to soften his return and to appease Essav:

Gifts: Yaacov send gifts to essav – herds of sheeps and goats, cattle and camels.

War: Yaacov divides his camp into two parts, so if Essav will attack one camp the other will flee.

Pray: Yaacov’s prayer is an example to how a prayer should be – detailed, explaines, focoused and connected directly to a need and a will.

The story of the reunion is in due course to our constant inner struggle which we talked about on Toldot portion, between the body (Essav – evil inclination) and the soul (Yaacov – good inclination). We learned that in our world the birthright was given to the body and therefore our soul should “steal” the show by means of deceive.

The Zohar explains that Yaacov sends Essav gifts and bow seven times before him. However, on the same time Yaacov also threaten Essav implicitly, by saying he made his wealth at Lavan’s – the greatest and the most evil sorcerer in the world. While praying, Yaccov was charged in powers of certainty and intensity. Essav gets confused – if Yaacov managed to overcome Lavan he can easily kill him. If so, why does he send him gifts? So when Yaccov bows before him, Essav feels confusion, pride and comfort, losses his mind and control, and hugs Yaacov with all his heart (“And Esau ran to meet him, and embraced him, and fell on his neck, and kissed him; and they wept”).

When we approach a person from a peaceful loving place, a place of light and relinquishment of ego, and yet from a powerful place, we can trick the common logic (Essav) and then forget all the hatred and start to see miracles and wonders.

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