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“Vayishlach: Repair to Prepare,” November 24, 2018

Vashishlach (“and he sent”) – Genesis 32:4 – 36:43; Obadiah 1:1-21


A lesson from the Rebbe.

p. 36 – Jacob has to get ready for battle with his idol-worshiping warrior brother, Esau (foreshadowing current war)

Jacob has to do three things: give gifts to appease; pray; and actually fight. (This is the Lubavitcher Rebbe commenting on the Rashi, the primary commentator on the Bible)

Rashi says that Jacob has to REPAIR – he doesn’t use the word PREPARE

REPAIR says the Rebbe means that “he changes something within himself in order to prepare to do that which must be done.”

Think about this. He has to fix three things.

Number one, he was pissed that he had to give his evil brother gifts to ward off attack.

Lesson: Obviously if you give with anger it’s even worse than not giving.

Deeper lesson: Do maneuvers with good cheer even if people odious.

The good cheer is about your faith in God, that He is guiding you the right way. It’s not about liking the evil person.

Second repair: Jacob thought God did so much good for him, he was afraid God wouldn’t continue to protect him.

Repair: Believe God when He says He will protect you and don’t make your own mental calculations (ego).

Third repair: He was effing terrified of his beast of a brother.

Repair: You can’t go into battle scared. Composure.


OK, going to continue this morning’s #BibleStudy thread on the Torah portion of the day, which is Vayishlach (“and he sent”) – Genesis 32:4 – 36:43; Obadiah 1:1-21.

Limited time, will share as much as possible.

Vayishlach Torah Reading – Parshah
Jacob hears that Esau is on the warpath so he prepares for war, prays and sends Esau gifts of appeasement. Jacob fights with an angel and wins, but he retains an injury and the angel names him Israel…

Also, it feels like there’s too much in my head to process to keep it linear. I will do my best.

I wanted to draw out something about the name “Sarah” as it relates to @SaRaAshcraft.

We have all watched for a year as a complete stranger, Sarah Ashcraft, walked into Twitter and taught us about the “Hivites,” the cabal, the enemy, whatever it is you want to call them.

I find her story consistent, logical and believable. It resonates with what I see.

I have often thought that Sarah was some kind of queen, and I know this may sound weird to say. But I can see her kind of leading us to victory.

Today’s Bible reading directly refers to her name.

Here’s the context – Genesis 31:25-30 – Jacob wrestling with the angel.

Jacob knows his brother Esau is coming. Maybe to kill him.

He sends the wives and kids away and is alone.

An angel (many say this is Samael, head of the demons) sets upon him and they “wrestle” all night.

Jacob wins.

Verse 29, the head of the demons says to Jacob: Your’re getting a new name, BECAUSE YOU FOUGHT AND YOU WON.

The Hebrew word is “Sar-Ita”

The commentators say: link to Sarah.

The word “Sar” means “to rule.”

כִּֽי־שָׂרִ֧יתָ עִם־אֱלֹהִ֛ים וְעִם־אֲנָשִׁ֖ים וַתּוּכָֽל:

You have to understand that we are living in a world where good people are treated badly, and bad people are treated well.

In the world of the future, which is to say the world of truth, those who fought on behalf of good and truth will be crowned with glory.

The truth-tellers of today are reviled, but they are doing God’s work.

This same dynamic plays out with the vengeance wrought by Simeon and Levi for the rape of their sister Dinah.

Genesis 34:1-31.

Verses 1-5: The family buys some land among the Canaanites, in Shechem, and Dinah “goes out” to talk to the women.

Whereupon she’s seduced, abducted, & raped.

There is no question as to the cruelty of her treatment by her rapist, Shechem – the town is named for the prince.

Verse 5: Jacob finds out.

He is obviously angry.

But waits until his sons come home from the field to decide how to respond.

Verse 7 – the brothers are SEETHING.

“And Jacob’s sons had come from the field when they heard, and the men were grieved, and they burned fiercely, because he had committed a scandalous act in Israel, to lie with a daughter of Jacob, and such ought not to be done.”

Verse 13 – Jacob hasn’t handled it, and the rapist is saying he’ll pay any amount for the girl (institutionalized rape, sex slavery posing as marriage).

So the brothers take it on themselves.

The city of Shechem was DEAD.

“Jacob’s sons answered Shechem and his father Hamor with cunning, and they spoke, because [after all] he had defiled their sister Dinah.”

Basically, the sons say that they will do what the rapist wants, and intermarry their families, as long as the rapist’s city agrees to be circumcised.

The prince goes along with this, & then the boys strike.

It is from this portion that we learn 13 is the age of maturity.

Verse 25 – “Now it came to pass on the third day, when they were in pain, that Jacob’s two sons, Simeon and Levi, Dinah’s brothers, each took his sword, and they came upon the city with confidence, and they slew every male.”

Verse 26 – “And Hamor and his son Shechem they slew with the edge of the sword, and they took Dinah out of Shechem’s house and left.”

Plus they took all their stuff, and the people became their captives (this was part of war – can’t leave ppl unguarded.)

Jacob chastises them and tells them to get rid of the idols. Fine.

And then they turn to their father and say:

“Shall he make our sister like a harlot?”

The rabbi explained that the young men did the right thing by killing all the men.



By Dr. Dannielle Blumenthal. All opinions are the author’s own. Public domain.

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