Vayishlach: Chapter 2

"I have sojourned with Laban"


Rabbi Yehuda begins a discussion of Jacob's message to Esau, "I have sojourned with Laban..." interpreting Jacob's words as threatening to Esau, who desired to destroy Jacob. There follows a discussion of Laban, the universally feared magician and sorcerer who was powerless against Jacob, just as Bilaam was powerless when he tried to destroy the children of Yisrael with the same magical arts. The reason for their failure, we're told, is that the power of sorcery is subservient to the children of Yisrael and God. Finally, Rabbi Yosi interprets Jacob's message to Laban as indicating that Jacob humbled himself in order to divert Esau's attention from Jacob's true blessings, so that Esau would not harbor envy and hate for him.


The path of the Torah and the power of the Zohar empower us to rise above unseen mystical powers. The ego, however, is like a leg iron that anchors us to this physical dimension and its influences. Humility is a key trait that can unlock the shackles. This passage arouses humility, enabling us to avert the effects of negative cosmic forces. We rise into the sphere of the supernal wisdoms, which protect and bless us in all our endeavors.