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How to confront our inner “Esau”?

Thursday, 3 December, 2020 - 10:35 am

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The story of this week’s Parasha Vayishlach is perplexing. As we remember from the previous Parashiyot, Jacob took his father’s blessings instead of Esau, who became very angry with him and decided to take revenge. Jacob then flees to Charan where he works, gets married, has children, and becomes wealthy.

After 20 years in Charan, Jacob returns to the land of Israel. Before confronting Esau, he wants to know if his brother is still angry or if the years that passed have appeased him. For this purpose, Jacob sends angels to Esau. Yet, we know that G-d does not do pointless miracles but only when there is a real need and meaning. Why did Jacob’s messengers need to be angels and not mere mortals?

The answer is simple and is found in what we know about Esau’s character. He was not an honest and good man… he had committed his first murder when he was only 15 years old. To survive an encounter with Esau, the help and power of angels were needed.

We all have inside us a symbolic “Esau” that prevents our spiritual growth. It is our tendency to focus only on egoistic and material endeavors. In order to confront it and to occupy ourselves with altruistic and spiritual endeavors, regular forces are not enough, we need angels – enforced powers.

Our powers are our mind and our heart, which have the ability to keep us higher than the everyday difficulties. But in order to confront the “Esau” inside us, we need to enhance them. For our mind and our heart to conduct us in this fight, we need to fill them up with G-dly and positive content. A Torah class, a book or an article on spiritual matters give us inspiration and “fill up the batteries” of our powers so we can succeed!

Let us take advantage of the angels inside us, filling up our heart and mind with the right content.

Shabbat Shalom!

Hanna

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