Who was Yaakov running away from?

וַיִּוָּתֵר יַעֲקֹב לְבַדּוֹ וַיֵּאָבֵק אִישׁ עִמּוֹ עַד עֲלוֹת הַשָּׁחַר

And Yaakov was left alone and a man wrestled with him until the break of dawn (32:25)

Rashi, quoting the Gemora explains that Yaakov crossed the river alone to retrieve some small jars that he had left there when he was…

Read more

Battling the Angel








Battling the Angel and our own Yatsa Horra What follows Yaakov’s preparation is the need to fight, but not in the way he expected. One of the most famous episodes in the Torah unfolds with his struggle with the angel and there are…

Read more

Minimum Kiruv

In this weeks סדרה we are told[i] how יעקב approaches עשו with his two wives, two maidservants and his eleven children. The מדרש[ii] [partially quoted in רש"י] asks why the פסוק makes no mention of דינה? The מדרש explains that יעקב hid her in a box, so that עשו would…

Read more

Did the Avos keep the Torah?

How do you know that Yaakov wore a streimel? Because the pasuk says ‘and Yaakov went out,’ and he would not have gone out without a streimel! That is the popular joke [popular depending on one’s sense of humour I suppose], but it does raise a serious issue. This issue…

Read more

Moshiach in Vayishlach

The Ramchal explains that the final part of Vayishlach is conveying a very deep message. It lists the 7 kings of Edom, but it is really hinting to history at large. The final king is called 'hadar,' and unlike the other kings, the Torah does not record Hadar dying. The…

Read more

'Why do you ask my name?'; how non-English!

Just after Yaakov's fight with the angel has ended with the rising of the morning sun, Yaakov asks the angel what his name is. The angel replies 'why do you ask my name' (32;20) and blesses Yaakov there. What's going on in this strange exchange; why does Yaakov care what…

Read more

Loved To Death

This week's parsha is Vayishlach. Yaakov, after receiving the blessings from his father Yitzchak and living with Lavan, his uncle, for some 20 years, now has a full family with 2 wives, Rachel and Leah, and 12 kids. This family is the foundation of what will later become the 12…

Read more