Wayishlach

Whatever took place in the family of Yitzchak and Rivkah, whatever Yitzchak knew about the prophecy his wife had received from the Almighty about the role of Ya’akov, Yitzchak had been at the verge of blessing his son Esau, Rivkah thought of saving G-d’s plan and Ya’akov carried it out so that Ya’akov got the blessing he was supposed to receive.

Esau could have realized that the whole situation was not the finest and that the family could have solved this problem in another way. Esau got very angry because of the act of theft of the blessing his brother Ya’akov had performed against him. And instead of growing over it and forgiving his father and mother and his brother and instead of learning to look at the greater picture in which the Lord played the master role, Esau chose to stay mad. In Beresheet, Genesis 32:7, we read that angels are warning Ya’akov against the plans of his brother. That is a sign that the Lord is on the side of Ya’akov and that Esau should have broken away from his family’s way of thinking, including his fresh urge to revenge.

From whatever family we are from and whatever situations we have been in, however we have been treated badly by family or other people – at least as we have perceived it that way -, we have got to consciously choose to turn a new page in our lives. If we choose to not do that we allow other people to govern our thoughts and decisions, our anger, our bitterness and inability to forgive.

Ya’akov is so different from Esau. Beth-el where he had seen the Lord and angels – messengers, in fact Moshe and Aharon as the carriers of G-d’s message, Torah – and the ladder which connected heaven and earth, this Beth-el had never left his thoughts in all the years that he had been away. When he finally returned he came back to Beth-el to fulfill his vow – read 28:22 – to build the House of the Lord. He had allowed the Lord to change his heart and Ya’akov had really grown into a man of G-d.

Good lesson, let’s look at our behaviour. Let us measure our urge for revenge and our inability to turn a new page. Let us see if we will become able to outgrow our family situations, so that we can learn to love our parents and other family members, and people outside our family. That is of utmost importance if we want to become eligible to play a part in G-d’s plans, like Ya’akov.

Shabbat shalom,
Lion S. Erwteman, Rosh Kehillat Beth Yeshua,
Amsterdam, The Netherlands