Perashat Vayishlach – Emotional Growth
Changing your attitude towards your victims is even more difficult. Once you were successful at taking advantage of your victim you will probably not change your attitude. Once you have caused turmoil in your family it is very difficult to fix the problem.
The foundation of Judaism is that people have the power to change. If you were a thief you could become a Tzadik. If you ripped off your brother you can change and make up with him.
That is exactly what we see in our Perasha. Yaacov Avinu had a reputation for dealing with people in a crooked way. Even his name meant crooked. The Navi used the name Yaacov to describe brothers taking advantage of each other. “Kol Ach Akov Yaacov” – “Every brother is crooked.” The night before he confronted Aisav he had an inner battle.
We read that in the middle of the night Yaacov was alone. A mysterious man came and wrestled with him the whole night. When the morning came the man said that he needed to go. Yaacov would not let him go until he blessed him. He was told that his name would no longer be the negative Yaacov. Instead he would from now on be Yisrael. Which has the word Yashar in it which means straight. It also means Sar El or Prince of G-d.
This fight was really inside Yaacov. The straight path prevailed and he became Yisrael instead of continuing to be someone who holds onto his brother’s heal and trips him all the time.