Erev Shabbos Kodesh Vayishlach Inspiration 5775


It seems that it’s pretty important to appease someone who is angry at you. Yaakov sends messengers to Esav to appease his anger. What was Esav angry about?  Yaakov purchased the rights of the firstborn from Esav and then received the brachos from Yitzchak. Esav was seething with rage and prepared himself mentally to kill Yaakov. The Torah refers to Esav’s anger as פניו,  which literally means his face. It is noteworthy that the word פנים, face, equals in gematria 180, the same number as the years that Yitzchak lived. Perhaps Yaakov was attempting to appease Esav’s “face,” i.e. to make peace between brothers and satisfy Yitzchak. Sadly, Esav cannot be appeased, and the only way to “appease” Esav is through Yosef (פיוס, appeasement, is equal in gematria to יוסף) of whom it is said (Ovadiah 1:18) וְהָיָה בֵית-יַעֲקֹב אֵשׁ וּבֵית יוֹסֵף לֶהָבָה, וּבֵית עֵשָׂו לְקַשׁ, and the house of Yaakov shall be fire and the house of Yosef a flame, and the house of Esav shall become straw.

Furthermore, it is said (Bereishis 32:21) וַאֲמַרְתֶּם גַּם הִנֵּה עַבְדְּךָ יַעֲקֹב, אַחֲרֵינוּ:  כִּי-אָמַר אֲכַפְּרָה פָנָיו, בַּמִּנְחָה הַהֹלֶכֶת לְפָנָי, וְאַחֲרֵי כֵן אֶרְאֶה פָנָיו, אוּלַי יִשָּׂא פָנָי, And you shall say, ‘Also, behold, your servant Yaakov is behind us.’ “For he said, “I will appease his anger with the gift that is going before me, and afterwards I will see his face, perhaps he will favor me.” The word פנים is mentioned four times, alluding to the four exiles that the Jewish People have gone through, always under the influence of Esav. Subsequently it is said (Ibid verses 23-24) וַיָּקָם בַּלַּיְלָה הוּא, וַיִּקַּח אֶת שְׁתֵּי נָשָׁיו וְאֶת שְׁתֵּי שִׁפְחֹתָיו וְאֶת אַחַד עָשָׂר יְלָדָיו; וַיַּעֲבֹר אֵת מַעֲבַר יַבֹּק. וַיִּקָּחֵם וַיַּעֲבִרֵם, אֶת הַנָּחַל וַיַּעֲבֵר אֶת אֲשֶׁר לוֹ, and he arose during that night, and he took his two wives and his two maidservants and his eleven children, and he crossed the ford of [the] Yaabok. And he took them and brought them across the stream, and he took across what was his. The Torah uses the word עבר four times, teaching us that Yaakov will “pass through” all four exiles safely, and then we will merit what is said (Ovadiah 1:21) וְעָלוּ מוֹשִׁעִים בְּהַר צִיּוֹן, לִשְׁפֹּט אֶת הַר עֵשָׂו; וְהָיְתָה לַי-ה-וָ-ה, הַמְּלוּכָה, and saviors shall ascend Mount Zion to judge the mountain of Esav, and to HaShem will be the kingdom. May we witness HaShem’s salvation, with the arrival of Moshiach Tzidkeinu, speedily, in our days.

Have a Wonderful Shabbos!

Rabbi Adler

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