Beit Midrash

  • Torah Portion and Tanach
  • Vayishlach
To dedicate this lesson
An Overview of the Torah Portion

Parasha Summary - Vayishlach

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Rabbi Stewart Weiss

Returning home, Yakov sends messengers to appease Esav. Yakov learns Esav is approaching with an army of 400 men. He divides his camps, prays for assistance, and sends a tribute to Esav.

That night, Yakov is left alone and wrestles with an angel. Yakov emerges victorious but is left with an injured sinew in his thigh. The angel blesses him with the name "Yisrael," signifying he prevailed against man & angel. Yakov & Esav meet and are reconciled, but Yakov rejects Esav's offer to dwell together.

Shechem, a Canaanite prince, abducts and rapes Dina, Yakov's daughter. Shechem suggests Yakov & family intermarry with them. Yakov's sons feign agreement, but stipulate all males must undergo brit mila. While they're weakened by the brit, Shimon & Levi enter the town and execute all the males.

Hashem appears to Yakov in Bet El and confirms his name Yisrael. Rachel gives birth to Binyamin, the 12th tribe. She dies in childbirth and is buried near Bet Lechem. Yakov builds a monument to her. Yitzchak dies at age 180 and is buried by his sons. The Parsha then lists Esav's lineage.
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