This week in Torah

Parashah 8 Vayishlach

December 10, 2022 – Vayishlach (“He sent”) – Parshat 8

  • Torah: Genesis 32:3-36:43
  • Haftara: Obadiah 1-21
  • Brit Chadasha: Mathew 2:13-23

וַיִּשְׁלַ֨ח יַעֲקֹ֤ב מַלְאָכִים֙ לְפָנָ֔יו אֶל־עֵשָׂ֖ו אָחִ֑יו אַ֥רְצָה שֵׂעִ֖יר שְׂדֵ֥ה אֱדֽוֹם׃

Vayishlach Ya’akov mal’achim lefanav el-Esav achiv artsah Se’ir sdeh Edom.

Jacob he sent messengers ahead to his brother Esau in the land of Seir, the country of Edom,

Two Camps: B’reisheet 32:7&8 “Then Jacob was greatly afraid and was distressed. He divided the people who were with him, and the flocks, and the herds, and the camels, into two companies; and he said, “If Esau comes to the one company, and strikes it, then the company which is left will escape.”

Not only is Ya’acov’s return from exile is a type or fractal for the ingathering in the end of days by Mashiach, but we see here in the division of his household. Ya’acov reasoned that one line from which Mashiach would come would be preserved even if one camp was lost. As he divided into two camps it was also a foreshadowing of the nation being divided after the reign of Shlomo Solomon. The Northern Kingdom under Yeroboam of the tribe of Yoseph , and the Southern Kingdom under Rehoboam of the tribe of Yahuda. When the Assyrian’s came and took the son’s of Yoseph captive, the son’s of Yahuda remained for around one hundred and fifty years before Babylon came as the hand of judgement against them.

But of course the sages saw this division on a deeper more prophetic level even than this. Understanding Ya’acov’s statement “The camp which is left will escape” spoke of the promised Messiah. The two companies or camps also represent two manifestations of the Mashiach. Tradition associates Mashiach ben David with the camp of Leah the mother of Yahuda, and Mashiach ben Yoseph with Rachel his mother. It is taught that there are two messiahs one the Mashiach ben Yoseph who will fight against the enemy’s of his people and die in battle in the Gog and Magog war, and that he will save his people, though it costs him his own life. It is also thought that the battle will be engaged by Mashiach Ben David who will finally vanquish the enemy’s of Israel and Adonai, even raising Mashiach ben Yoseph from the dead. When Ya’acov divided the camps it represented the two appearances of Mashiach that would be seen in the end of days, one who suffered and died for the salvation of his people, and the other who would remain to bring about the final redemption!

One of the teachings for this opinion applied to this Parshat is as follows: “He said, If Esau comes to the one camp and attacks it, then the camp which is left will escape” (Genesis 32:9[8]). The words “Two camps” allude to two messiahs: Messiah son of Joseph and Messiah son of David. Namely that Messiah son of Joseph who will be struck with the sword … The words “The camp which is left will escape” refers to Messiah son of David as it is said [Obadiah 1:17], “In Mount Zion there shall be those who escape.”                      (Rabbeinu Efrayim, Yalkut Moshiach: Vayishlach, 149 § 84)

We know that the suffering Messiah and the Messianic King are one and the same. That Yeshua HaMashiach has suffered death by the hand of the enemy to bring us out of bondage to sin and wickedness. He was resurrected by, in a sense Mashiach ben David, He said John 10:17&18 “Therefore the Father loves me, because I lay down my life, that I may take it again. No one takes it away from me, but I lay it down by myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. I received this commandment from my Father.” The serpent bruised the heel of Mashiach ben Yoseph, but we will see him again as Mashiach ben David who will crush the authority and power of the enemy totally and forever.

Again Adonai we say: may you rebuild the throne of your servant David  me-hei-rah  be-ya-mey-nu “speedily and in our days” The Ruach  V’kallah  bo “the spirit and the bride say come!”

Shalom Mish’pachah from Beth Hallel Lodi