As our Parsha begins, Yaakov sent melachim (angels), some render a translation of messengers, “… ahead of him to Eisev to the land of Seir, to the field of Edom… Thus shall you say … to Eisev, so said your servant Yaakov: ‘Im-Lavan garti’ (I have sojourned with Lavan) …” (Sefer Breish’t, Perek 32, posukim 4 & 5)
When the melachim, the messengers return, they inform Yaakov that Eisev “is also coming to meet you; and there a four hundred men with him.” (Sefer Breish’t, Perek 32, posuk 7)
Upon hearing the news, “Yaakov was very frightened and distressed. He divided the people who were with him, along with the sheep, cattle and camels into two camps. He said, if Eisev comes to one camp and attacks it, the remaining camp will survive.” (Sefer Breish’t, Perek 32, posukim 8-10) Rashi learns, regarding what the melachim told Yaakov, “[The one] that you said ‘he is my brother’, …nevertheless, acts towards you as the wicked Eisev,; he is still harboring his hate.” (Rashi, Sefer Breish’t, Perek 32, posuk 7)
Our parsha then explains that Yaakov prayed to Hashem that he would merit to survive and then commence to designate gifts for Eisev.
There is much to say in the parsha and in Rashis regarding Yaakov’s emunah, why he was concerned about his and his family’s welfare and thus prayed to Hashem, prepared for battle and designated gifts for his brother.
This author holds that the overriding lesson here for our generation in Eretz Yisrael is that Yaakov established a precept for B’nai Yisrael for all time when confronted by possible war and adversity.
But in our generation, the government of Israel, in it’s cravings to be loved by the nations and to be like them, to have “the normal life” has long excluded Hashem from the loop. And, of late, after cancelling military actions because of human shields, the regime now negates the pillar of national defense and national security because “other considerations transcend preventing Israelis from being murdered by Kassam rockets” which rain-in on Israel’s southern cities despite the so-called “cease-fire” which Israel’s morally corrupt and graft-ridden leaders hope to spread to Yehuda and Shomron by making the rules of military engagement more stringent and barring arrests of terrorist murderers without approval by senior IDF officers.
When tefillah (prayer) is negated and then national defense and security is abrogated, the secular, defeatist government of israel is left with but one aspect of Yaakov’s precept; the gifts, or to be more clear — the appeasement of moral weakness and corruption, pure and simple. And in this neighborhood, one does not survive by projecting weakness of will.
May it be in this year and in all future years, that our brethren — the refugee families from Gush Katif — many still seeking their places, our brethren in the North who have had their lives disrupted, been displaced from their homes, their property in many cases destroyed by Katushyas, as well as our dear brother, Jonathan Pollard and the lives of the 3 captive Chayalim are central in our thoughts, prayers, chassadim and actions. May this abominable period of history called hitnatkut be as a bad dream, be retified — our brethren made whole and may hitnatkut be expunged from collective consciousness yet it’s evil never forgotten.
May we be zocha in this coming year to take giant steps toward fulfilling Hashem’s blueprint of B’nai Yisrael as a Unique people — an Am Segula, not to be reckoned with as with “the nations” and may we be zocha the Moshiach, the Ge’ula Shlaima, “Yom Hashem V’Kol HaGoyim”, the Ultimate Redemption, bim hay v’yameinu — speedily, in our time”, — Achshav, Chik Chuk, Miyad, Etmol!!!
Moshe Burt, an Oleh, is a commentator on news and events in Israel and Founder and Director of the Sefer Torah Recycling Network. He lives in Ramat Beit Shemesh.