Parshas Vayishlach:
Meeting Esav

Yaakov prepares himself for his meeting Eisav in three ways. He prays to G-d, he sends Eisav a present, and he prepares his family for battle. During and after this preparation, the Torah tells us that Yaakov went to sleep [chapter 32, verse 14]. The question arises: in last week's Parsha, we are told by Rashi [chapter 28 verse 11] that for fourteen years, Yaakov did not sleep; he was learning Torah day and night by Shem and Eiver. Obviously, if the Torah points out to us that he slept, there must be a lesson for us in these words. Secondly, how was it possible for Yaakov to sleep? His brother is coming to kill him! Would we be able to sleep the night before a showdown?

The Torah is teaching us what faith is all about. We are not in control of everything that happens around us. What we are required to do is everything within our means. Beyond that, it's in the hands of G-d. Yaakov did everything humanly possible to prepare for Eisav. Now, it's in the hands of G-d. He has no more worries. It's no longer in Yaakov's hands. He can go to sleep in peace, knowing he did his part. There's no use worrying about something you have no control over.


Rabbi Mordechai Raizman is a former member of the Kollel. He is now working for the The Chicago Torah Network.



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