Vayishlach: Chapter 8

"...And bowed to the ground"


Rabbi Elazar asks a question regarding the title verse and its implication that Jacob bowed to Esau, who was of the side of another god. This leads to a reinterpretation of the verse, revealing that Jacob actually offered praise to God when kneeling before Esau. Similarly, the blessed greeting that King David sent Naval, a sorcerer spoken of in the books of the Prophets, is also often misconstrued. This blessing was not addressed to Naval, as Naval thought, but rather to God. Through the Light of the Zohar, we learn that both Jacob and David were righteous, and all their deeds were for the glory of their Creator.


A literal reading of Biblical scripture completely falsifies the spiritual truth and inner meaning of the stories. Thus, we must refrain from passing judgment in life until we discern the true meaning that is always concealed beneath the surface. These verses instil into our awareness the wisdom and discretion to restrain judgment . They also strengthen our will power so that we direct our consciousness towards The Creator when temptations and dark forces confront us in life.