I hope you all had an awesome week. My school went camping! We had a blast. We even saw a mother manatee and her baby in a river! Sooooooo amazing.
So this week’s parsha is Parshat Vayishlach:
– Yaakov comes back to Eretz Yisrael. He had run away from Eisav, who was really mad that Yaakov took his firstborn blessings. Yaakov sends a message to Eisav saying that he wants to make peace, but Eisav sends a message back saying that he is coming with 400 men. Yaakov is scared to meet Eisav, so he does three things to prepare: he prays to G-d, prepares for war, and sends hundreds of animals as a gift to Eisav.
– At night, Yaakov helps his family cross a river. He waits for everyone to cross, but he stays behind because he forgets some of his belongings. An angel of Eisav comes to fight Yaakov, and although the angel injures him in the hip, Yaakov wins. Therefore, the angel changes Yaakov’s name to “Yisrael”, which means “he who wins over the divine”.
– When Yaakov and Eisav finally meet, they cry and kiss each other. Eisav thanks Yaakov for the gifts and invites him to travel together to Seir. Yet Yaakov is still scared to travel with Eisav, so he says that it is hard to travel with such a large family, so he and his family will travel slower and meet Eisav in Seir. Yaakov never ends up going there.
– Yaakov’s family settles in Shechem, and the prince of Shechem kidnaps Dina, Yaakov’s daughter. Dina’s brothers, Shimon and Levi, are angry and make all of the men of the city circumcise themselves before the brothers kill them all. Yaakov gets upset at his sons for killing an entire city.
– G-d appears to Yaakov and blesses him. Yaakov and his family continue to travel to Yitzchak’s home in Chevron. On the way, Rachel gives birth to Binyamin, but passes away soon after. Yaakov buries Rachel on the road to Beit Lechem. Yaakov finally arrives in Chevron, and Yitzchak passes away.
The midrash tells us that when Yaakov’s sons left him in the dark on the other side of the river, they were not honoring their father. Yaakov’s sons should have accompanied their father. Because they did not, Yaakov had to confront the angel alone. The angel hurt him on the thigh, making Yaakov limp, to remind the Jewish people of the importance of accompanying your parents.
What’s the lesson for us? Whether it’s a parent, grandparent, or other adult/elderly person you know, help them with their belongings and always be by their side. Better yet, offer to carry their belongings for them! This is just one way that you can show Kibud Av Vaem, honoring your parents (or other adults).