NY City Candle lighting
4:11. Shabbat ends 5:14. For candle lighting times:
VAYISHLACH: FAMILY FIRST
Shalom and Bracha!
This Shabbat we read the portion of
Vayishlach. Two weeks ago we read about Yaakov receiving the
blessings that would have otherwise gone to his brother Esav,
thereby arousing Esav’s wrath. At the conclusion of last week’s
portion, Yaakov was returning to the land of Israel from Charan,
accompanied by his family and acquired wealth. In the beginning
of this week’s portion Yaakov sent messengers to Esav to greet
him. The messengers informed him that Esav was coming with four
hundred troops to attack him.
this, Yaakov split his camp and animals into two groups, saying
that “If Esav will attack one camp, the second will be saved.”
Thereafter he prayed to Hashem to save him in the merit of his
forefathers and to remember His promises to Yaakov to protect
him. With Hashem’s help, Esav accepted the present and
reconciled with Yaakov.
Yaakov’s preparations demand a deeper explanation. Why did he
first divide his camp and only thereafter pray? Further, how was
he positive that if one camp were destroyed the other would
remain? Esav was approaching with four hundred men! Further, did
he leave some of his children in one camp as he joined the
been told by Hashem to return to Israel and that Hashem would
bless him there. He knew that the future of Torah was dependent
upon him and his seed. He had great faith in Hashem’s blessing.
He feared, however, that perhaps his great wealth and stature
had interfered with his connection to Hashem. When Yaakov
divided his camp, he put all of his wealth and servants in one
camp, and his family in the other. He prayed only for his
family. Once he separated himself from his wealth, he was sure
that the remaining camp would be secure. Sometimes we are faced
with difficult choices. Our advancement in wealth and social
status are pitted against our families or our service of Hashem.
We must learn from Yaakov that wealth is only a tool to serve
Hashem and enhance our family lives.
concludes the saga of Esav that Yaakov continued in peace and
“complete.” Rashi explains that all that he had given Esav as a
present was replenished. This teaches us that by placing Hashem
and family first, Hashem guards our possessions as well.
with Esav with the assurance that he would meet him at mount
Seir. Rashi explains that this will be when Moshiach comes, as
we say in the daily prayers “Redeemers will ascend mount Zion to
judge the mount of Esav and Hashem will rule as King.” May we
merit his coming immediately!
memory of Ezra Ben Frieda Malka Shabot
May Hashem grant him perfect bliss in
Gan Eden and comfort and guard his family.
A Project of
Chabad of Great Neck
400 East Shore Rd. Great Neck NY 11024
516 4874554 fax 516 4874807