Jacob’s story continues in this week’s Portion, VaYishlach. As Jacob returned from Haran and his Father-in-law Laban, he prepared to meet his brother Esau. He was unsure of the greeting he will get from Esau – will he hug him or stab him? Jacob prepared gifts of goats, rams, camels, bulls and donkeys, which he had his servants deliver to Esau. He also divided his wives and children into groups – just in case Esau wanted revenge on Jacob’s actions from 20 years ago.
Just before his meeting with Esau, Jacob encountered the Angel of God; the two wrestled through the night until the Angel ended the match by dislocating Jacob’s hip. It is here that Jacob received his new name: Israel – “God Prevails”.
Jacob’s meeting with Esau went much better than he had expected; they arrived at an uneasy “peace”; Esau returned through Seir and Jacob headed to Shechem .
At Shechem we encounter the sordid story of Dinah and the Prince of Shechem. Her brothers are enraged, and Simeon and Levi take revenge on Shechem – by killing all the males and taking captive the women and children and spoiling all their goods.
The Portion ends with the birth of Benjamin, the deaths of Rachel and Isaac, and concludes with descendants of Esau.