VAYICHLA’H The meeting between Jacob and Esau

At the moment of the meeting with his brother, Jacob feels helpless, whereas in the solitude of the previous night’s battle he has shown himself to be invincible. Indeed, he now seems to doubt that his former behavior towards Esau was really justified. It was seen as an expression of a conscience that prevents him from fighting a brother he has wronged, so that what might seem like weakness actually denotes a refined moral sense that helps him not to come to terms with a past mistake.

As a prelude to the meeting, Jacob sends Esau an offering.

The word “present” [Heb: Minha] occurs five times throughout the story. After asking his brother to accept his present, Jacob said to him, “Receive my blessing,” as if his subconscious was making him return to resignation by thinking back to the moment when he had cunningly acquired Isaac’s blessing, which was reduced to confessing, “Your brother came in fraud and took your blessing” (Genesis 27:35).

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