Vayishlach - Becoming A Person Of Integrity
A self-study guide for: Wrestling With The Angel, How Jacob Becomes Israel
The shift from Yaakov to Yisrael seemed to be much more than a name change – a close reading of the text reveals it was also a transformation of his identity.
Vayishlach Torah Portion: Genesis 32:4–36:43
Parshat Vayishlach continues the Genesis tradition of drama between the descendants of Abraham. The Torah portion begins with Jacob sending a message to Esav, that he had been staying with Lavan and that he had become rich! The messengers return with the report that Esav is coming to meet
At sunrise, Jacob limps away, due to an injury to his thigh. (The Torah also gives us a heads up: due to this injury, today, we avoid eating the hollow of the thigh! Interesting tidbit!) Jacob and Esav finally meet, and, to Jacob’s relief, Esav seems to act lovingly towards him, and they both weep. Esav tries to convince Jacob to
Jacob also buys a small piece of land outside Shechem, which sets up the horrifying story of Dinah, Jacob’s daughter, in the land of Shechem.
Dinah goes out to see the daughters of the land, and Shechem, the son of the king, sees
Jacob’s sons then trick Chamor, saying that they could only give Dinah to Shechem if all of the men of the town would become circumcised. Chamor agrees, and three days later, as all of the men are recovering from their circumcisions, Shimon and Levi, two of Jacob’s sons, sneak into the city. They slaughter all of the men of Shechem, including both Chamor and Shechem, loot the entire city, and take Dinah back. Jacob
Rebecca’s nurse Deborah dies, and they bury her. Jacob and his family travel
At the end of Vayishlach, the text tells us the descendants of