Parshas Vayishlach Genesis 32:4 -- 36:43
Jacob and family return from the house of Laban to the land
only to find Esau heading toward them with 400 men, ready for battle.
After preparing his family for war and praying to G-d for help, Jacob
attempts to appease his brother by sending him a gift of many animals.
After his family crosses the river to await their meeting with Esau, Jacob is
left alone for an all-night 'confrontation' with an angel disguised as a
man. Although Jacob is victorious, he is left limping from a
hip-dislocation. Rejoining his family, Jacob encounters Esau who
accepts him with an apparent new-found brotherly love. Jacob and Esau part ways, in peace.
Another crisis arises when Jacob's daughter Dinah is abducted and raped by Shechem, the prince of a town with the same name. Two of
Jacob's sons, outraged at the humiliation caused to their sister, trick the
town's residents into circumcising themselves (ouch!) on the condition that
they would then be allowed to intermarry with Jacob's family. Simeon and Levi
(the two brothers) then decimate the entire city and save Dinah.
Later in the parsha, G-d blesses Jacob and gives
him the additional name, Israel.
Soon after, Rachel dies while giving birth to Benjamin, Jacob's twelfth
son. Finally, Jacob returns home and is reunited with his father
Isaac. The Torah portion concludes with a lengthy genealogy of Esau's
What would you have done?
Virginia Saenz could hear the desperation in the voice of the telephone
message. It was 5 a.m. on the day before Thanksgiving,
and the caller, Lucy Crutchfield, was trying to tell her daughter that she'd
send money for groceries -- but she'd have to miss a mortgage payment and
possibly lose her house to foreclosure to do it. But Crutchfield had dialed
the wrong number. Instead of getting her daughter, she got Saenz, a real estate agent.
Saenz did the only thing she could think of -- she
called Crutchfield back and said not to worry. Crutchfield would pay the
mortgage, and Saenz would handle the groceries.
She said the act of giving
made "the day special for me. I helped somebody. I think it's
what anybody would have done."
The Torah describes the Jewish people as "kind, merciful and
modest." If you received by mistake Lucy Crutchfield's phone call,
what would you have done?
Quote of the Week
When someone does something
good, applaud! You will make two people happy -- Samuel Goldwyn
Joke of the Week
A woman goes to the post
office to buy stamps for her Chanukah cards. She says to the clerk,
"May I have 50 Chanukah
stamps?" The clerk says, "What
denomination?" The woman replies, "Oh my. Has it come to
this? Give me 6 Orthodox, 12 Conservative and 32 Reform."