After years of exile, Ya’akov returns in this week’s sidrah to confront his brother, Esav. He prepares for all eventualities, sending presents, preparing for war, and asking G-d for protection. Ya’akov does not know exactly what reception he will receive from Esav – will he be welcomed with open arms, or will he be met with hostility? Will his gifts be gratefully received, or will they end up as rejected ‘victims’ of Esav’s rage?
Chumash: (G-d has just changed Ya’akov’s name to ‘Israel’) “And G-d said to him [Ya’akov]: ‘I am Almighty G-d (El-Shaddai)’, be fruitful and multiply, a nation and a multitude of nations shall come from you…” (Bereishit 35:11)