Parsha Vayishlach

Jacob and his family returned from the house of Laban to the land of Israel, 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 the 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 on the condition that they would then be allowed to intermarry with Jacob’s family. Simeon and Levi (two sons of Jacob) then decimate the entire city and save Dinah. Later in the portion, 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 family.

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