Parshat Vayishlach – Taking It Slowly

By Rabbi Dovid Markel


When Yaakov met with his brother Esav after having not seen him for many years, they hugged and kissed.

The Torah says, that when they took leave from one another, Esav said, (Bereishis33:12) “Travel and we will go, and I will go alongside you.”

Yaakov responded, (Bereishis, 33:13-14) “My master knows that the children are tender, and the flocks and the cattle, which are raising their young, depend upon me, and if they overdrive them one day, all the flocks will die. Now, let my master go ahead before his servant, and I will move [at] my own slow pace, according to the pace of the work that is before me and according to the pace of the children, until I come to my master, to Seir.”

Chassidus explains, that the true intent of their conversation was regarding the coming of Moshiach.

Yaakov and the spiritual dimension of Esav were ready for the coming of Moshiach, and Esav approached Yaakov, saying, “Let us bring him now.”

Yaakov responded that the time had not yet arrived, as if they would go too quickly the flock would die. The meaning of his words, is that the ultimate purpose for the coming of Moshiach is to elevate the sparks of G-dliness that are embedded in the corporeality of the world. Trying to bring Moshiach too quickly would not accomplish an elevation of the physical, but an obliteration thereof.

The lesson for us can be applied in regard to affecting our fellow. It is not enough to merely overwhelm a person with our perspective, even if it holy, as this will accomplish nothing. We must relate to each and every individual on their level, to slowly help them become more G-dly people.

This conversation between Yaakov and Esav occurred approximately 3,500 years ago. It is safe to assume, that after all this time we are ready for the coming of Moshiach, concerning which Ovadiah (1:21) states: “And saviors shall ascend Mt. Zion to judge the mountain of Esav.” May it happen speedily in our time!


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