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Returning home, Yaakov sends angelic
messengers to appease his
brother Esav. The messengers return, telling Yaakov that Esav is
approaching with an army of 400. Yaakov takes the strategic
precautions of dividing the camps, praying for assistance,
and sending tribute to mollify Esav.
That night, Yaakov is left alone and wrestles with the Angel of Esav.
Yaakov emerges victorious but is left with an injured sinew
in his thigh (which is the reason that it is forbidden to eat the sciatic
nerve of a kosher animal). The angel tells him that his name in the
future will be "Yisrael," signifying that he has prevailed against
man (Lavan) and the supernatural (the angel).
Yaakov and Esav meet and are reconciled, but Yaakov, still fearful of
his brother, rejects Esav's offer that they should dwell together. Shechem,
a Caananite Prince, abducts and violates Dina, Yaakov's daughter.
In return for Dina's hand in marriage, the Prince and his father suggest
that Yaakov and his family intermarry and enjoy the fruits of Caananite
prosperity. Yaakov's sons trick Shechem and his father by
feigning agreement - however, they stipulate that all the
males of the city must undergo bris mila.
Shimon and Levi, two of Dina's brothers, enter the town and execute
all the males who were weakened by the circumcision. This action
is justified by the city's tacit complicity in the abduction of their sister.
G-d commands Yaakov to go to Beis-El and build an altar.
His mother Rivka's nurse, Devorah, dies and is buried below Beis-El.
G-d appears again to Yaakov, blesses him and changes his name to
Yisrael. While traveling, Rachel goes into labor and gives birth to
Binyamin, the twelfth of the tribes of Israel. She dies in childbirth and is
buried on the Beis Lechem Road. Yaakov builds a monument to her.
Yitzchak passes away at the age of 180 and is buried by his sons.
The Parsha concludes by listing Esav's descendants.