Parsha ‘Vayishlach’ (Genesis 32:4 thru chapter 26) begins with an encounter that been delayed at this point for two decades, when Yakov returns home, and has to deal with his brother Esau. Does he still want to kill him?
And who was it that he was wrestling with?
The Erev Shabbat reading begins there:
And the Sabbath day midrash picks up there, and with the theme of a continuing struggle. Some elements of the ‘rhyme’ that is prophecy parallel that story, and others seem to be a bit ‘counter-cyclical.’ (Still, it IS interesting that Esau is Yakov’s Big Brother!)
And the haftorah passages from the single-chapter Book of Obadiah demonstrate that what YHVH says will ultimately befall Edom, who is Esau, hasn’t happened yet; meaning that those elements of that struggle are still in-progress, too.
The night that Yakov spent in prayer, and wrestling with…someone…some ‘ish’, or man…has much to teach us.
How, exactly, did Yakov pray?
Why was he re-named, twice, and yet consistently STILL referred to throughout the Book but both his old, AND new, names?
And, of course, don’t we still wrestle with whoever he did?
“Vayishlach: Lessons from a Wrestling Match”
The combined two-part teaching is here, via Hebrew Nation Radio.