December 5, 2022 This week’s Torah portion is called “Vayishlach,” “And he sent.” It contains the famous story of Jacob wrestling with an angel.
Twenty years after deceiving his father, Isaac, and brother, Esau, in order to gain the first born blessing and thus the inheritance of the family spiritual leadership, Jacob is returning from exile with his large family and must now face his brother. When he learns that Esau is coming to meet him with four hundred men he is afraid thinking that his brother is still very upset with him and is about to kill him and his family. In desperation he divides his family into two camps, reasoning that maybe half his family will survive.
During the night he leaves the two camps in order to meditate and finds himself near the bank of the River Jabbock. He then experiences the dark night of the soul as he wrestles with an angel. As they are wrestling the angel touches Jacob’s hip and injures it.
As dawn arises, Jacob gains the upper hand. The angel asks to be freed from Jacob’s grip but Jacob demands to be blessed first. The angel blesses him by changing his name from Jacob to Israel meaning “One who wrestles with G-D”
Esau, who is now very wealthy and does not care about spiritual matters, cries with happiness and excitement when he finally meets Jacob. Forgiveness and peace between the brothers is restored.
The deeper meaning of this story is really about our struggles with our ego as we go on our spiritual journeys. We must all face the mistakes we have made and then learn to not only forgive ourselves but others we have blamed as well.
Jacob now has a choice to either act from his lower self as Jacob which means "heel" or his Higher Self which is aligned with G-D and the truth of who he really is. This is the same dance we all play as we go through life.
By tapping into or aligning with the energy of Vayishlach we can receive help to remember who we really are, One who is made in the image of G-D with G-D's attributes.
* Every week a section of the Torah is read throughout the week. There are always many levels of understanding with each week's portion. The Torah portions also have energies that can be utilized to help us navigate though our daily lives not only during the week the specific portion is read but any time it is needed.
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