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Frightened and Distressed

Updated: Dec 9, 2022

By Rabbi Michael Skobac

"Jacob became very frightened, and it distressed him..." Genesis 32:8.

After hearing that his brother Esav was coming toward him with 400 men, the Torah tells us of Jacob’s trepidation. However, during Jacob's awesome dream of a ladder reaching up to the heavens with angels ascending and descending, Hashem assured him that "I am with you; I will guard you wherever you go..." (Genesis 28:15).

So how do we understand Jacob being so distraught in our verse? Jacob was not distressed by the impending attack of Esav - he was upset for being so scared after G-d promised that He would always protect him! His fear is what distressed him. (The Chozeh of Lublin)

By Rabbi Michael Skobac


Rabbi Michael Skobac had been involved with Jews for Judaism (Canada) since 1989 and currently serves as its Director of Education and Counselling. He is a leading authority on missionaries, cults and issues relating to Jewish continuity and Jewish spirituality. Rabbi Skobac's publications include Missionary Impossible; Counter-Missionary Survival Guide; The DaVinci Code: A Jewish Perspetive; and Intermarriage: Is There Ligth at teh End of the Tunnel?


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Republished by Angelique Sijbolts with permission for the Noahide Academy.

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