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Torah Portion Vayishlach - Words of Angels will Bring Brothers Together

Updated: Dec 9, 2022

Genesis 32:4–36:43

A portion of the Tora-portion of this week:

Jacob returns to the Holy Land after a 20-year stay in Charan, and sends angel-emissaries to Esau in hope of a reconciliation, but his messengers report that his brother is on the warpath with 400 armed men. Jacob prepares for war, prays, and sends Esau a large gift (consisting of hundreds of heads of livestock) to appease him.

For Noahides

וַיִּשְׁלַ֨ח יַעֲקֹ֤ב מַלְאָכִים֙ לְפָנָ֔יו אֶל־עֵשָׂ֖ו אָחִ֑יו אַ֥רְצָה שֵׂעִ֖יר שְׂדֵ֥ה אֱדֽוֹם

"Jacob sent messengers ahead to his brother Esau in the land of Seir, the country of Edom" (Genesis 32:4)

Jacob sends angels to his brother Esau in the hope that peace will come between him and his brother. We can take this quite literally as heavenly beings. Jacob had the hope that if Esau saw these heavenly beings he would be more inclined to make peace with Jacob and these heavenly beings would also be able to see Esau's heart. This would give Jacob an honest report on Esau. Was he a danger to his family or would there be peace?

When we pray and form words with our mouths we create angels. The same goes for our deeds, when we do good deeds good angels are created and when we do bad things bad angels are created. The Baal Shem Tov teaches that not only deeds and words of prayer create angels, but all the words we speak.

Jacob sent kind words to his brother in the hope that peace would come between them. The peace they had had when they were young children in their father's house. We can see this period of peace between the two brothers as a historical period in time.

As long as the Temple was there in Jerusalem, the two brothers may have lived in other countries and territories, but there was (relative) peace. After the destruction of the Temple, a second historical period breaks out between the two brothers. Despite peaceful words from Jacob to his brother, the latter does not accept the words. Indeed, he hates Jacob and fights him. History, especially the history of Europe, speaks for itself.

G-d, to whom I direct my praises at all times, do not be silent to what has been done to me. For the mouths of the wicked and the mouths of the deceitfrul were openend against me; they speak to me with a tong of falshood, pretending to be my friends when, in fact, theyt seek to destroy me. They spread words of hatred about me, and the people surrounded me to take me captive. They battle with me for no reason - I have never wronged them. In place of my words of love for them they hated me. They are men of war seeking to capture me, but I am a man of prayer, praying on their behalf as well. They set upon me eveil in place of the good I have done for them, and hatred of my love for them.

(Psalm 109:1-5)

The third period is the one we are hoping for when Edom will become an inheritance for the Jewish people. This period is alluded to by the words שדה אדום, i.e. that Edom will be ploughed over as predicted by the prophet.

This period will be fully revealed in the Messianic Era. In our time, we already see this prophecy being fulfilled. The Jewish people can speak words in peace about Torah in - an openness that was not possible for centuries. Edom, the nations, hears the words and instead of coming to war, he comes to meet his brother amicably and in embrace of peace and unification.

In that day, I will set up again the fallen booth of David: I will mend its breaches and set up its ruins anew. I will build it firm as in the days of old,

So that they shall possess the rest of Edom And all the nations once attached to My name —declares the LORD who will bring this to pass.

(Amos 9:11-12)

Brought By Angelique Sijbolts


Angelique Sijbolts is one of the main writers for the Noahide Academy. She has been an observant Noahide for many years. She studies Torah with Rabbi Perets every week. Angelique invests much of her time in editing video-lectures for the Rabbis of the Academy and contributes in administrating the Academy's website in English and Dutch. She lives in the north of the Netherlands. Married and mother of two sons. She works as a teacher in a school with students with special needs. And is a Hebrew Teacher for the levels beginners en intermediate. She likes to walk, to read and play the piano.



Chabadapp: chumash with Rashi


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