In this week’s reading from Parashat Vayishlach (Bereshit / Genesis 32:3-36:43) we read that Yaakov (Jacob) sent messengers before him to his brother Esav along with a gift in order to appease Esav of the things done in the past (32:3-20). Yaakov wrestles with a man (32:24) and realizes that he has seen God face to face and lived (32:25-31). Yaakov and Esav meet (33:1-16) and Esav returns to his place in Seir and Yaakov travels to Shechem. Yaakov buys the piece of land before the city of Shechem (33:19) and Yaakov’s daughter Dina is raped according to verse 34:2 וַיִּשְׁכַּב אֹתָהּ וַיְעַנֶּה, Shechem the son of Hamor the Hivite took her by force (against her will). Yaakov’s sons deceive the people of Shechem (34:5-24), and Simeon and Levi take their swords and kill every male in the city while they were in pain from circumcision (34:25-33). God instructs Yaakov to go to Bethel and dwell there (35:1). The Lord appears to Yaakov again and confirms his name change from Yaakov to Yisrael and blesses Yaakov (35:9-15). Traveling to Bethel, Rachael gives birth and dies (35:16-19). Yitzchak (Isaac) lives to 180 years old and dies and is buried (35:28-29). The Parashah ends with Esav, the land cannot sustain the flocks of both Yaakov and Esav, so Esav moves his family and all that he owns away from Yaakov (36:1-43). The opening verses of Parashat Vayishlach reveal to us that at this point in Yaakov’s life there is a major turning point. Yaakov realizes that encountering Esav is inevitable when he returns to Canaan and prepares for meeting his brother. Yaakov calls out to the Lord saying קָטֹנְתִּי מִכֹּל הַחֲסָדִים וּמִכָּל-הָאֱמֶת אֲשֶׁר עָשִֹיתָ אֶת-עַבְדֶּךָ כִּי בְמַקְלִי עָבַרְתִּי אֶת-הַיַּרְדֵּן הַזֶּה וְעַתָּה הָיִיתִי לִשְׁנֵי מַחֲנוֹת that He is unworthy of God’s grace and truth (32:11). Yaakov encounters God at Peniel (פְּנִיאֵל) and sees God (כִּי-רָאִיתִי אֱלֹהִים פָּנִים אֶל-פָּנִים). God changes Yaakov’s name to Yisrael and strikes his hip changing both who he is and the way he walks. Has your encounter with God changed you in both who you are and in the way you walk on this Earth today? Read More here.
Home Weekly Parashah Parashat Vayishlach, The Revelation of the Messiah according to the Scriptures.