117. "And he passed before them, and bowed to the ground seven times." Rabbi Elazar quoted the verse, "for you shall worship no other El: for Hashem, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous El" (Shemot 34:14). HE ASKS, How could Jacob, the greatest of the Patriarchs, the one chosen to be the perfect portion of the Holy One, blessed be He, and the one very close to Him, bow before this evil Esau, who stands on the side of another El? For bowing to him is the same as bowing to another El! You may find the answer by referring to the saying that when the fox is in the ascendent, bow to him. THERE IS A PARABLE DESCRIBING A TIME WHEN THE FOX REIGNS OVER THE ANIMALS. ALTHOUGH THE FOX IS THE SMALLEST OF THE BEASTS, EVERYONE BOWS BEFORE IT. AND HERE TOO YOU MIGHT SAY THAT JACOB BOWED TO ESAU BECAUSE THE HOUR WAS FAVORABLE FOR HIM. This, however, is not so, for Esau is considered as another El, and Jacob would never bow to that side and portion.
118. HE ANSWERS, It is written, "and thus shall you say to him: A hearty greeting (lit. 'to the living One')! Peace be to you, to your house, and to all that you have" (I Shmuel 25:6). HE ASKS, If it is forbidden to give the first greeting to wicked people, why did David say this to THE WICKED Naval? HE REPLIED, He said this to the Holy One, blessed be He, in order to connect Naval with the Living One, THE HOLY ONE, BLESSED BE HE. THUS THE VERSE, "TO THE LIVING ONE," WAS ADDRESSED TO THE HOLY ONE, BLESSED BE HE, AND NOT TO NAVAL, although Naval thought it was addressed to him.
119. Similarly, "Yisrael bowed himself upon the bed's head" (Beresheet 47:31). HE ASKS, Did he bow to his son? No, he bowed to the place where the Shechinah rested; SHE WAS AT THE HEAD OF THE BED, FOR THE SHECHINAH IS FOUND NEAR THE HEAD OF THE ILL. Here, too, "HE passed over before them," which means that the supernal Shechinah went before him. This is the supernal guardian, who kept him. When Jacob saw Her walking in front of him, he said, "it is time to bow before the Holy One, blessed be He," who went before him.
120. He knelt and bowed seven times, "until he came near to his brother." It is not written, 'He bowed himself before Esau,' but when he saw the Holy One, blessed be He, walking in front of him, he bowed before Him. This indicated that he was not paying respect or worshiping someone else. All was done appropriately. Happy are the righteous, whose every deed is for the glory of their Master, so as not to deviate right or left FROM THE STRAIGHT AND MIDDLE PATH.