Vayishlach: Chapter 10

"Let my Lord, I pray you, pass over before his servant"


Rabbi Elazar explains the title quotation as Jacob's wish to save his blessings for future generations in their struggle against the nations of the world. Jacob rejected partnership with Esau and accepted subjugation, we are told, knowing that in the World to Come, he would rule over the "mount of Esau."


Our tendency is to sacrifice tomorrow's rewards for immediate ego gratification. This tendency derives from our Evil Inclination, which seeks to influence us in all our endeavors. When we succumb to urges from this dark side, our Evil Inclination creates a partnership with us, tainting and defiling all our efforts. Impatience is a powerful form of reactive, self-indulgent behavior and usually underlies our decisions to accept this partnership. Patience is divine and it is nurtured in us as we read this section.