Messengers of Peace

Parashat VaYishlach

Messengers of Peace

November 24, 2018 – 16 Kislev 5779

Dear Friends,

I hope you will join us for services this Friday night and Shabbat morning as we celebrate the bat mitzvah of Julia Blaha. Mazal Tov to Julia and to her entire family!

Rabbi Barukh of Mezhbush shared the following thought, based on our weekly Torah portion of VaYishlach:

When you want to try to make peace with a rival, do it yourself. Do not send a messenger in your place.

This lesson is learned from the fact that the Torah tells us that Jacob sent messengers ahead when he returned to the Land after decades of being separated from his brother, Esau. He sent the messengers in an attempt to avoid a violent confrontation with Esau. Nevertheless, the Torah tells us that after hearing the words of the messengers, Esau set out to meet Jacob with a band of no less than 400 men! It was only after Jacob and Esau met, face to face, that the two estranged brothers figured out how to overcome the negative feelings of the past and to forge a new and meaningful path of peaceful familial connection.

Messengers, even angels, cannot do the work that is required to bring adversaries together and to create lasting peace between them. Only we, ourselves, can take the steps necessary to move us closer to the ideal of meaningful and peaceful connections with one another.

Shabbat Shalom!

Rabbi Gilah Dror