Tuesday, November 16, 2010

A Fresh Start

Parashat Vayishlach
13 Kiselv 5771 / November 19-20, 2010
Bereshit 32:4 – 36:43

A Fresh Start
by Jordan Mandel, MH St. Louis

Parashat Vayishlach is filled with a great "prepare for the worst, receive the best" example. Jacob is hesitant to return home, for he fears the inevitable confrontation with and possible death from his brother Esau. But G-d promises that if he returns to his home, Jacob will be kept safe from the hand of Esau and be blessed with as many children as there are grains of sand of the sea. In preparation for a battle, Jacob splits his fellow travelers into two camps so at least one camp will survive.

During the night, an Angel wrestles with Jacob, but no winner can be declared during the struggle. The Angel renames Jacob "Israel" as a result of this confrontation.

When the two brothers reunite, Esau kisses his brother's neck and welcomes him with no intention of a fight. This reunion embodies the thought that it is never too late to start a better relationship. Whether it is between friends who have differences between them, co-workers who do not see eye-to-eye on policies or work habits, or family who have not been on speaking terms for some time, the strength of a renewed relationship can overpower the previous obstacles that lay between the parties.


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