Sedra VaYishLach 120 words – Best Left Alone

It’s not often that our Sages criticise our forefathers, so when they do, we ought to be attentive.

YaAkov should have avoided his brother Esav. He thought he could make peace but he was wrong. [Medrash]

YaAkov seems to have “analysed” the problem thus, “my brother is upset because (he believes) I am wealthier than him, I received the blessings rather than him and I don’t show him enough respect.”

So he sends a message to his brother: “I am your subordinate. The blessings of my father have not eventuated [Rashi 32:5 & 6] and he grovels to his brother, describing himself as, “your servant YaAkov” many times [for which he is divinely punished] He even indicates, “I am seeking your love” [Rashi 32:6]

What should we learn from this?