Parshah Wayashilach (Vayashilach)
Beresheeth (Genesis) 32:3-36:43
The Name יִשְׂרָאֵל Yisrael or Yashar’al comes from shar שַׂר meaning prince, sarita שָׂרִיתָ meaning contend and yashar יָּשָׁר, which means upright, combined with El or Al the short form of אֱלֹהִים Elohim (Aluahym). Literally יִשְׂרָאֵל Yisrael or Yashar’al can mean to overcome with El, to be upright with El and Prince of El. Even more still the name also means Elohim prevails, reigns, is upright and is prince. This name represents a duality in the overall victory of Elohim but also that of his servants, those who endure and persist. Today most are more familiar with the pronunciation Israel.
Genesis 32:30 And Yaacob called the name of the place Peni’el פְּנִיאֵל, “For I have seen Elohim face to face, and my life is preserved.”
(Peni’el and the Yabbok River)
That morning, Yaacob walked with a limp across the Yabbok river and as he saw Esaw and his army of four hundred men approaching, he placed each of his children in front of their mothers. Yaacob went ahead of the entire family and bowed down seven times as he approached his twin brother. Esaw ran to Yaacob, embraced him, and they wept together. Esaw explained to Yaacob that he didn’t need his gifts, but Yaacob insisted, “for I have seen your face, which is like seeing the face of Elohim, and you have accepted me”. Esaw invited him to live in Seir (in Edom), but he decided to move south to Sukkot, outside the city of Shechem instead. He purchased some land from the sons of Shechem and built an altar and called the place “El, the Elohim of Israel” ( El Elohei Yisrael: אֵל אֱלהֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל)
Yaacob’s only daughter Dinah was abducted and defiled by Shechem, the prince of the city. The prince’s father, Chamor appealed for Dinah’s hand in marriage to his son, and suggested that Yaacob and his family intermarry with them and they would inhabit the land together. Outraged at the atrocity, Yaacob’s sons devised a plan of revenge. They agreed to intermingle but stipulated that all the males of the city must be circumcised (brit milah) in order for intermarriages to be acceptable. King Chamor and his son agreed to the terms and all the men of the city were circumcised. On the third day, when the men were in a painful condition, Shimon and Lewi, Dinah’s brothers, entered the town and executed all the men there by the sword. This event cause a great amount of grief and distress for Yaacob.
After the destruction of Shechem, YaHuWaH commanded Yaacob to return to Beth’el where YaHuWaH had appeared to him above the ladder to the Shamayim. Ya’acob purged the people of their idols, commanded that the cleanse themselves and be purified before going to meet with YaHuWaH. At Beth El YaHuWaH appeared yet again to Ya’acob and confirmed new name יִשְׂרָאֵל Yisrael also renewing His covenant with Abraham, Yitshaq and Yisra’el.
(Way of the Patriarchs, view from Beth El)
Yaacob set forth to his hometown, Hebron (Chebron). On the way there Rachel died while giving birth to Yaacob’s twelfth son. Rachel in Hebrew means a lamb, at her death she gave birth to a son and named him Ben Omni, which means “son of my sorrow”. However his Father Yaacob renamed him Ben Yammin which means “son of the right hand.” Here we see an amazing prophecy of the coming Messiah. At the death of the lamb, the son of sorrow is made evident but by the favor of the Father he is made the Son of the right hand. Yahuwshuwa, our lamb was slain as the Son of sorrow but he was elevated by his Father to sit as his right hand!
The Torah then relates that “Reuben went and lay with Bilhah his father’s concubine.” This added grief upon sorrow to Ya’acob at this time but at last he reaches Hebron and is reunited with his father. At this point the Torah also notes that Yitshaq (Isaac) dies at the age of one hundred and eighty years, and is buried by “Esaw and Yaacob, his sons.”
This Torah Portion concludes with a detailed account of Esaw’s genealogy, the names of his wives, children and grandchildren; the heads of his tribe which made up the nation of Edom. There is also a list of the eight kings who “reigned in Edom before there reigned any king over the children of Israel.”
The names of the twelve sons of Yisrael (Yashar’al) in order of their birth are as follows:
Reuben- “See, a son!