Parshas Vayishlach-Summary of Parsha

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Parshas Vayishlach

Pesukim: 154 [Siman: קליטה]

Haftorah: Ovadia 1:1-21

Number of Mitzvos:

There is a total of One Mitzvah in Parshas Vayishlach; Zero positive command and One negative commands. The following are the commands in the order listed by the Sefer Hachinuch.



1.      Mitzvah 3/Negative 1: Not to eat the Gid Hanashe, the Sciatic nerve.


  1. Yaakov prepares to meet Eisav:
  • Messengers sent to Eisav: Yaakov sends messengers to his brother Eisav to the land of Seir, fields of Edom. Yaakov instructs them to go and tell Eisav that he was with Lavan until this time, and thus delayed meeting him. “Tell him that I have a lot of cattle and am coming to my master to find favor in his eyes.” The messengers returned from their meeting with Eisav and told Yaakov that Eisav is coming to greet him with 400 men.
  • Yaakov splits the camp and prays: Yaakov became very fearful, and split his camp of people and cattle into two groups, so if Eisav smites one camp, the other camp can survive. Yaakov Davened to Hashem that in the merit of Avraham and Yitzchak that he should be saved. “Save me from the hands of my brother Eisav. You said you will do good to me, and make my offspring like the sand of the sea that are too numerous to count.”



  1. Yaakov sends presents to Eisav:
    • The content of the present: Yaakov slept there that night and prepared to send Eisav a present of animals; 200 female goats and 20 male goats, 200 female sheep, and 20 rams, 30 male and female camels, 40 female cows and 10 bulls, 20 female donkeys and 10 male donkeys.
    • The instructions given to the messengers sending the present: Yaakov placed the animals in different groups of herds, and instructed the messengers taking the herds to make space between each herd. Yaakov instructed them: Upon meeting Eisav, you are to tell him that the animals belong to your servant Yaakov and he is sending them as a present to his master Eisav. Tell him that Yaakov too is on his way to greet him. Each group was instructed to tell Eisav the above.
    • Yaakov slept that night in the camp, after the present was sent.
  1. Yaakov battles the angel of Eisav:
    • Crossing his family: Yaakov awoke in middle of the night and crossed his two wives and 11 children across the river of Yabok. He also moved all of his belongings. Yaakov remained on the other side and fought with a man until day break.
    • The battle: The man saw that he was unable to overcome Yaakov, so he injured his joint in his thigh. Yaakov was holding him when morning arrived and refused to let go of him until he promised to bless him. The man promised Yaakov that his name will no longer be Yaakov but rather Yisrael, which means that he has battled and won against men [who are angels]. Yaakov asked for his name, and the man did not answer.



  • Yaakov called that place Peniyail, as he saw the face of an angel and was saved.
  • Yaakov’s injury: Yaakov was limping after the above encounter.
  • The sciatic nerve: We do not eat from the sciatic nerve of an animal until this day due to this injury that Yaakov sustained in the battle.
  1. Yaakov meets Eisav:
  • Yaakov raised his eyes and saw Eisav and his 400 men coming to greet him.
  • The setup of Yaakov’s family: Yaakov separated the children with Rochel and Leah. The maids and their children were placed first, and Rachel and Yosef last.
  • Hugging, kissing and crying: Yaakov bowed seven times until he reached his brother. Eisav ran towards him, and hugged him and kissed him. He fell on his neck and they both cried. Eisav lifted his eyes and saw Yaakov’s family and asked who they are. Yaakov replied that they are the children which Hashem has granted “your servant.”



  • The maid servants and their children came forward and bowed to Eisav. Leah and her children came forth and bowed to Eisav and then came Yosef and Rachel.
  • Yaakov asks Eisav to accept the present as seeing him is like seeing the face of G-d. Yaakov persists that Eisav accept the present and he does so.
  • Yaakov and Eisav part ways: Eisav offered to escort Yaakov on his journey. Yaakov refused the offer under the pretext that his camp travels very slowly. Eisav then returned to Seir and Yaakov encamped in Sukkos.
  1. Yaakov moves to Shechem:
    • Yaakov then moved to Shechem and purchased a field there for 100 Kesita.
    • The altar: He built an altar there and called it the G-d of Israel.



  1. Dina is kidnapped and raped:
  • Dina, the daughter of Leah, came out to see the daughters of Shechem. Shechem, the son of Chamor, the president of the land, saw her. He took her, lay with her, violated her and oppressed her. His soul became attached to Dina. He loved her and spoke to her heart. Shechem requested from his father that he arrange that Dina be given to him as a wife.
  • Yaakov and his sons hear the news: Yaakov heard that Dina was defiled. He did not say anything until his sons returned from the field. Chamor, the father of Shechem, met with Yaakov. The brothers were very angry when they heard what happened.
  • The negotiations and agreements with Chamor: Chamor offered that if they give Dina to his son Shechem as a wife, he will let them take their daughters for them as wives and they would be able to live freely on the land. Shechem also pleaded with Yaakov and his sons to be given Dina as a wife, and in exchange he will give whatever dowry he is asked. The children of Yaakov connivingly answered Shechem and Chamor that they can only agree to the marriage if all the males of the land circumcise themselves. Chamor, and Shechem agreed to the terms, and the circumcision took place right away.
  • The circumcision of Shechem: Chamor and Shechem convinced the city inhabitants to circumcise themselves, under the argument that doing so will allow them to unify with Yaakov and do commerce with them.
  • The city is annihilated and ransacked: On the third day after the circumcision, when the inhabitants were in great pain, Shimon and Levi came and killed all the male inhabitants of the city. They killed Chamor and Shechem with the sword and took Dina from the house of Shechem. They took spoils from the city. They took the cattle, all their wives and children, and all that was in their homes.
  • Yaakov’s reaction: Yaakov confronted Shimon and Levi for murdering the city inhabitants, arguing that it will cause the surrounding nations to attack them, and wipe them out. The brothers replied, “Can we allow our sister to be like a harlot.”
  1. Yaakov returns to Beis-El:
  • Building an altar: Hashem came to Yaakov and told him to return to Beis-El and build an altar in commemoration of running away from Eisav his brother.
  • Idol cleansing: Yaakov commanded his family to get rid of all the idols that are amongst them, and to change their clothing. Yaakov took all the idols, and earrings and buried them under the tree, near Shechem.
  • They traveled, and all the cities feared them and did not begin a war with them.
  • Yaakov arrived in Luz, which is Beis El, and built the altar.
  • Devora dies: Devorah, the nurse of Rivka, passed away, and was buried beneath the mountain of Beis El which Yaakov named Alon Bachus.
  • Yaakov is blessed: Hashem appeared again to Yaakov and blessed him. Hashem told Yaakov that his name will no longer be Yaakov, but Yisrael. Yaakov was promised that a great nation would come forth from him.



  • Hashem promised Yaakov that the land which was promised to Avraham and Yitzchak, will be given to him. Hashem then left him.
  • The monument: Yaakov established a monument of stone in that area, and poured oil over it. Yaakov named the place Beis El.
  1. Rachel’s dies during childbirth:
  • They traveled from Beis El towards Efrat, and Rachel was having a very difficult labor in giving birth. As she gave birth, the midwife told her that it is a son, as Rachel was dying as a result of the birth. His father, Yaakov, called his son Binyamin. Rachel died and was buried on the way to Efrat, which is Beis Lachem. Yaakov placed a monument on her grave which remains there until this very day.
  • Yisrael traveled and settled his camp near Migdal Eider.
  1. Reuvein’s sin:
    • While Yisrael was living in that land, Reuvein went and slept with Bilhah, the concubine of his father. Yisrael discovered what occurred.
  1. The sons of Yaakov:
    • Yaakov had 12 sons.
    • The sons of Leah: Reuvein the Bechor, Shimon, Levi, Yehuda, Yissachar, Zevulun.
    • The sons of Rachel: Yosef and Binyamin.
    • The sons of Bilhah, the maidservant of Rachel: Dan and Naftali.
    • The sons of Zilpah, the maidservant of Leah: Gad and Asher.
  1. Yaakov returns to his father:
  • Yaakov returned to Yitzchak his father, in Kiryas Arba, Chevron.
  1. Yitzchak passes away:
  • Yitzchak lived for 180 years, passing away at a ripe old age. He was buried by Yaakov and Eisav.
  1. The descendants of Eisav, Edom:

Eisav was married to Adah, the daughter of Eilon, and to Ahalivamah, the daughter of Anah and Tzivon, and Basmas the daughter of Yishmael. The following were their children:

  1. Ada’s offspring:
    • Elifaz
  2. Basmas offspring:
    • Reuel
  3. Ahalivama’s offspring:
    • Yeush
    • Yalom
    • Korach

The above children were born in Eretz Canaan, and Eisav then moved from Canaan to Seir, as the land did not contain enough food for the animals to graze for the flocks of both Yaakov his brother, and Eisav.

The following are the children of Eisav, the father of Edom, on the mountain of Seir:

  1. Elifaz’s offspring:
  • Taiman
  • Omar
  • Tzefo
  • Gatam
  • Kenaz
  • Amaleik, which was born to Timna, the concubine of Elifaz.
  1. Reuel’s offspring:
  • Nachas
  • Zerach
  • Shamah
  • Mizah



  1. The descendants of Seir:

The following are the descendants of Seir the Chori:

  1. Lotan
    • Chori
    • Heimam
  2. Shoval
    • Alvan
    • Manachas
    • Aival
    • Shefo
    • Onam
  3. Tzivon
    • Aiyah
    • Anah who discovered the mules.
  4. Anah
    • Dishon
    • Ahalivamah
  5. Dishon
    • Chemdan
    • Eshban
    • Yisran
    • Cheran
  6. Aitzer
    • Bilhan
    • Zaavan
    • Akan
  7. Dishan
  8. Timna was the sister of Lotan.
  1. The kings who reigned before there was a king for the Jewish people:

The following are the kings who reigned before the Jewish people:

  1. Bela Ben Beor, from Dinhavah
  2. Yovav the son of Zerach from Batzrah
  3. Chusham from Yemen.
  4. Hadad Ben Bedad who defeated Midyan in the field of Moav.
  5. Samlah from Masraikah
  6. Shaul from Rechovos Hanahar.
  7. Baal Chanan the son of Achbor
  8. Hadar from the city of Pau. His wife was Mehaytavail the daughter of Matraid, the daughter of May Zahav.
  9. Eisav is the father of all the Edomites.

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