Parshas Vayishlach

Words in bold represent changes to the traditional translation based on the Aramaic translation/commentary attributed to Onkelos the Ger.

Parshas Vayishlach

Chapter 32

Rishon

4. Yaakov sent messengers [1] ahead of him to his brother Eisav in the land of Seir, the plain of Edom.

5 He commanded them, saying, “So shall you say: ‘To my master, to Eisav, so says your servant Yaakov: I dweeled with Lavan and remained until now.

6. I have acquired cattle, donkeys, sheep, and servant men and women. I send (this message) to tell my master in order to find mercy in your eyes.’”

7. The messengers returned to Yaakov, saying, “We came to your brother, to Eisav. He is also coming to meet you, and 400 men are with him.”

8. Yaakov was greatly afraid and distressed. He divided the people with him, plus the flocks, herds and camels, into two camps.

9. He said, “If Eisav comes to the one camp and attacks it, the remaining camp can escape.”

10. Yaakov said, “God of my father Avraham and God of my father Yitzchak! Hashem, Who said to me, ‘Return to your land and your birthplace and I will do good for you!’

11. My merits are too few for all the mercies and all the goodness [2] that You have so performed for Your servant, for I crossed this Jordan with my staff alone and now I have become two camps.

12. Please deliver me from the hand of my brother, from the hand of Eisav, because I am afraid that he may come and smite me, mothers with children.

13. You have said, ‘I will surely do good for you and I will make your descendants numerous like the sands of the sea, which are too many to count.’”

Sheini

14. He spent that night there, then he took a gift for his brother Eisav from what had come to his hand:

15. 200 female goats, 20 male goats, 200 ewes and 20 rams;

16. 30 nursing camels with their young, 40 cows and 10 bulls, 20 female donkeys and 10 male donkeys.

17. He put these in the hand of his servants, herd by herd, and he told his servants, “Pass ahead of me and keep space between herd and herd.”

18. He instructed the first, saying, “When my brother Eisav encounters you and asks you, ‘Whose are you, where are you going, and whose are these ahead of you?’

19. You shall answer, ‘Your servant Yaakov’s; they are a gift sent to my master, to Eisav. Also, he is behind us.’”

20. He instructions the second likewise, also the third, also all who followed the herds, saying, “Like thiss shall you say to Eisav when you find him.

21. You shall also say, ‘Behold, your servant Yaakov is behind us’” because he said, “If I appease his anger [3] with a gift ahead of me and then I see his face, perhaps he will accept me.”

22. The gift passed ahead of him and he stayed over in the camp that night.

23. He got up that night and he took his two wives, his two servant women and his eleven children and he crossed the Yabok stream.

24. He took them across the stream then he brought all his possessions across.

25. Yaakov was left alone and a man fought [4] with him until the break of dawn.

26. When he saw that he couldn’t defeat him, he touched the wide part of his thigh [5] so that the wide part of Yaakov’s thigh was dislocated as he wrestled with him.

27. He said, “Let me go because dawn is breaking.” He answered, “I won’t let you go unless you bless me.”

28. He said to him, “What is your name?” and he answered, “Yaakov.”

29. He said, “Your name will no longer be called Yaakov, but Yisroel because you are great before Hashem [6] and men and you have prevailed.”

30. Yaakov asked, “Please tell me your name.” He said, “Why do you ask my name?” and he blessed him there.

Shlishi

31. Yaakov called the name of the place Peniel because “I have seen the angel of God face to face but my life has been spared.”

32. The sun rose on him as he passed Penuel, limping on his hip.

33. Therefore, the children of Israel to this day may not eat [7] the displaced tendon [8] that is on the wide part of the thigh, since Yaakov was touched on the wide part of the thigh on the displaced tendon.

Chapter 33

1. Yaakov raised his eyes and saw and – behold! – Eisav was coming with 400 men. He divided the children among Leah, Rachel, and the two servant woman.

2. He put the servants and their children first, Leah and her children later, and Rachel and Yoseif last.

3. He passed before them and bowed on the ground seven times until he was close to his brother.

4. Eisav ran to greet him. He embraced him, he fell on his neck, he kissed him and they wept.

5. He raised his eye and saw the women and the children. He said, “Who are these to you?” He answered, “The children with whom God has graced your servant.”

Revii

6. The servant women drew near with their children and bowed.

7. Leah also drew near with her children and bowed. Finally, Yoseif and Rachel drew near and bowed.

8. He asked, “Who is all this company that I have met to you?” He answered, “To find affection in my master’s eyes.”

9. Eisav said, “I have enough, my brother. Have success with what is yours.”

10. Yaakov said, “Please, [9] if I have now found affection in your eyes, accept this gift from my hand because seeing your face is like seeing the face the great [10] to me, and you have been pleased with me.

11. Please accept my gift which has been brought to you because I have had mercy from before Hashem and I have everything.” He encouraged him and he accepted.

12. He (Eisav) said, “Let’s travel and go, and I will go alongside you.”

13. He answered him, “My master knows that the children are frail and that the nursing flocks and herds (depend) [11] on me. If they are driven hard one day, all the flocks will die.

14. Let my pass ahead of his servant. I will travel slowly, at the pace of the work before me and at the pace of the children, until I come to my master in Seir.”

15. Eisav said, “Let me assign to you some of the men who are with me.” He answered, “Why that? Just let me find affection in my master’s eyes!”

16. Eisav returned that day on his way to Seir.

17. Yaakov traveled on to Succos. He built a house for himself and for his cattle he made stalls. That’s why the name of the place was called Succos.

18. Yaakov in peace to the city of Shechem which is in the land of Canaan, when he came from Padan-Aram, and he camped facing the city.

19. He purchased the portion of the field where he pitched his tent from the hand of the children of Chamor, father Shechem, for 100 churpa. [12]

20. He set up an altar there and served on it before God, the God of Israel. [13]

Chapter 34

Chamishi

1. Dina, the daughter of Leah whom she delivered to Yaakov, went out to see the daughters of the land.

2. Shechem, son of Hamor the Chivite, leader of the land, saw her. He took her, lay with her and violated her.

3. His soul desired Dina, daughter of Yaakov. He loved the girl so he spoke to the girl’s heart.

4. Shechem spoke to his father Chamor, saying, “Get me this girl for a wife.”

5. Yaakov heard that his daughter Dina he been defiled. His sons were in the field with his cattle, so Yaakov remained silent until they arrived.

6. Chamor, Shechem’s father, went out to Yaakov to speak with him.

7. Yaakov’s sons came in from the field when they heard. The men were upset and very angry, because he had committed a vile act in Israel. Lying with Yaakov’s daughter–such a thing is not appropriate to do!

8. Chamor spoke with them, saying, “My son Shechem’s soul longs for your daughter. Please give her to him as a wife.

9. Intermarry with us; give your daughters to us and take our daughters for yourselves.

10. Dwell among us and the land will be before you. Settle, do business and acquire property in it.”

11. Shechem said to her father and brothers, “May I find affection in your eyes and I will give whatever you tell me.

12. Demand of me an extremely high dowry and gifts; I will give whatever you tell me. Just give me the girl as a wife.”

13. Yaakov’s sons answered Shechem and his father Chamor with wisdom. [14] They spoke (thus) because he had defiled their sister Dina.

14. They said to them, “We cannot do this thing, giving our sister to a man who is uncircumcised, because that is a disgrace to us.

15. Only thus will we agree with you: if you become like us, circumcising every male among you.

16. We will give our daughters to you and take your daughters to us. We will dwell with you and become one people.

17. But if you don’t listen to us to be circumcised, we will take our daughter and go.”

18. Their words were pleasing in the eyes of Chamor and in the eyes of Shechem, son of Chamor.

19. The youth didn’t delay doing the thing because he desired Yaakov’s daughter. He was respected over all in his father’s house.

20. Chamor and his son Shechem came to the gate of their city. They spoke to the people of their town, saying,

21. “These people are peaceful towards us. Let them settle in the land and do business in it because, behold, the land is large enough for them. We will take their daughters to ourselves as wives and give our daughters to them.

22. Only thus will the men agree with us. to dwell with us and to be as one people: all our males must be circumcised as they are circumcised.

23. Won’t their cattle, their possessions and all their animals be ours? Let us only agree to them and they will settle among us.”

24. All who went out of the gate of his city listened to Chamor and to his son Shechem. All males, all who went out of the gate of his city, were circumcised.

25. On the third day, when their pain had increased upon them, two sons of Yaakov, Shimon and Levi, brothers of Dina, each took his sword. They came into the city that sat securely [15] and killed all the males.

26. They killed Chamor and his son Shechem by the sword, they took Dina from Shechem’s house and they left.

27. The sons of Yaakov came to strip the casualties. They plundered the city for defiling their sister.

28. They took their flocks, their herds, their donkeys, and everything they had in the city and in the field.

29. All their wealth, all their infants and their wives they took as captives and they plundered all that was in the houses.

30. Yaakov said to Shimon and Levi, “You have brought trouble upon me, to create enmity between me and the inhabitants of the land – the Canaanites and the Perizzites. I am small in number; if they gather against me and attack me, I and my house will be destroyed.”

31. They answered, “Should our sister be treated like a whore?”

Chapter 35

1. God said to Yaakov, “Get up and ascend to Beth-El; dwell there and build an altar there to the God Who revealed Himself to you when you were running away from your brother Eisav.”

2. Yaakov said to his household and to all who were with him, “Divest yourselves of the foreign idols that are among you; purify yourselves and change your clothes.

3. Let’s get up and ascend to Beth-El. I will build an altar there to the God Who accepts my prayer on the day of my distress and Whose word assists me on the road that I have traveled.”

4. They gave to Yaakov all the foreign idols that were in their hands and the rings that were in their ears. Yaakov buried them under the terebinth that was near Shechem.

5. They traveled and behold, a terror from before God fell upon the people in the cities around them so they didn’t pursue the sons of Yaakov.

6. Yaakov came to Luz, which is in the land of Canaan – that is Beth-El – he and all the people who were with him.

7. He built an altar there and he called the place El Beth-El because it was there that God had revealed Himself to him when he was running away from his brother.

8. Devorah, Rivka’s nurse, died and was buried below Beth-El, at the border of the plain, so its name was called the plain of crying.

9. God revealed Himself to Yaakov again when he came from Padan-Aram, and He blessed him.

10. God said to him, “Your name is Yaakov; Your name will no longer be called Yaakov. Rather, Yisroel will be your name.” He called his name Yisroel.

11. God said to him, “I am El Shaddai. Be prolific and increase; a nation and an assembly of tribes will come from you. Kings who rule over nations will issue from you. [16]

Shishi

12. The land that I gave to Avraham and Yitzchak I give to you; to your descendants after you I will give the land.”

13. The glory of Hashem went up from him in the place where He had spoken to him.

14. Yaakov set up a pillar in the place where He had spoken to him, a pillar of stone. He poured libations [17] on it and he poured oil on it.

15. Yaakov called the name of the place where God had spoken to him Beth-El.

16. They traveled from Beth-El; they were still some distance to reach Efrat when Rachel was in childbirth and had a hard labor.

17. It happened when in her difficult labor that the midwife said to her, “Don’t be afraid because this one is also a son for you.”

18. As her soul was departing – because she died – she named him Ben-Oni, but his father called him Binyamin.

19. Rachel died and was buried on the road to Ephrat, which is Bethlehem.

20. Yaakov set up a pillar on her grave; it is the pillar of Rachel’s grave until today.

21. Yisroel traveled; he pitched his tent beyond Migdal-Eider.

22. It happened while Yisroel was dwelling in that land that Reuven went and lay with Bilhah, his father’s concubine and Yisroel heard. The sons of Yaakov were twelve (in number).

23. The sons of Leah: Reuven – Yaakov’s firstborn – Shimon, Levi, Yehuda, Yisachar and Zevulun.

24. The sons of Rachel: Yoseif and Binyamin.

25. The sons of Bilhah, Rachel’s servant: Dan and Naftali.

26. And the sons of Zilpah, Leah’s servant: Gad and Asher. These are the sons of Yaakov who were born to him in Padan-Aram.

27. Yaakov came to his father Yitzchak in Mamre, at Kiryas Arba, which is Chevron, where Avraham and Yitzchak had dwelled.

28. The days of Yitzchak were 180 years.

29. Yitzchak expired and died. He was gathered to his people old and full of days. His sons Eisav and Yaakov buried him.

Chapter 36

1. These are the generations of Eisav – that is, Edom.

2. Eisav took his wives from the Canaanite women: Adah, daughter of Eilon the Hittite, and Oholivama, daughter of Anah, daughter of Tzivon the Chivite,

3. and Basmas, daughter of Yishmael and sister of N’vayos.

4. Adah delivered Elifaz to Eisav; Basmas delivered R’ueil;

5. Oholivama delivered Y’ush, Yalam and Korach. These are the sons of Eisav, who were delivered to him in the land of Canaan.

6. Eisav took his wives, his sons and daughters, all the souls of his household, his cattle and all his livestock, and all his possessions that he acquired in the land of Canaan, and he went to a different land than his brother Yaakov.

7. Because their wealth too great for them to dwell together and the land where they sojourned was unable to support them because of their cattle.

8. Eisav settled on Mount Seir–Eisav is Edom.

9. These are the generations of Eisav, the father of Edom, on Mount Seir.

10. These are the names of Eisav’s sons: Elifaz, son of Eisav’s wife Adah, R’ueil, son of Eisav’s wife Basmas.

11. The sons of Elifaz were Teiman, Omar, Tz’fo, Gatam and K’naz.

12. Timna was a concubine of Eisav’s son Elifaz; she delivered Amalek to Elifaz. These were the sons of Eisav’s wife Adah.

13. These were the sons of R’ueil: Nachas, Zerach, Shamah and Miza. These were the sons of Eisav’s wife Basmas.

14. These were the sons of Eisav’s wife Oholivama, daughter of Anah, daughter of Tzivon: she delivered to Eisav Y’ush, Yalam and Korach.

15. These are the chieftains of the children of Eisav. The sons of Eisav’s firstborn, Elifaz: the chieftain of Teiman, the chieftain of Omar, the chieftain of Tz’fo, the chieftain of K’naz,

16. the chieftain of Korach, the chieftain of Gatam and the chieftain of Amalek. These are the chieftains of Elifaz in the land of Edom; these are the sons of Adah.

17. These are the sons of Eisav’s son R’ueil: the chieftain of Nachas, the chieftain of Zerach, the chieftain of Shamah and the chieftain of Miza. These are the chieftains of R’ueil in the land of Edom; these are the sons of Eisav’s wife Basmas.

18. These are the sons of Eisav’s wife Oholivama: the chieftain of Y’ush, the chieftain of Yalam and the chieftain of Korach. These are the chieftains of Eisav’s wife Oholivama, the daughter of Anah.

19. These are the sons of Eisav – that is, Edom – and these are their chieftains.

Shevii

20. These are the sons of Seir the Chorite, who settled in the land: Lotan, Shoval, Tzivon, Anah,

21. Dishon, Eitzer and Dishan. Those are the chieftains of the Corites, the sons of Seir, in the land of Edom.

22. The sons of Lotan were Chori and Heimam, and Lotan’s sister was Timna.

23. These are sons of Shoval: Alvan, Manachas, Eival, Sh’fo and Onam.

24. These are the sons of Tzivon: Aiah and Anah – this is the Anah who discovered the mighty [18] in the wilderness while pasturing the donkeys of his father Tzivon.

25. These are the children of Anah: Dishon and Oholivama, Anah’s daughter.

26. These are the sons of Dishon: Chemdan, Eshban, Yisran and Ch’ran.

27. These are the sons of Eitzer: Bilhan, Zaavan and Akan.

28. These are the sons of Dishan: Utz and Aran.

29. These are the chieftains of the Chorites: the chieftain of Lotan, the chieftain of Shoval, the chieftain of Tzivon, the chieftain of Anah,

30. the chieftain of Dishon, the chieftain of Eitzer and the chieftain of Dishan. Those are the chieftains of the Chorites, according to the chieftains, in the land of Seir.

31. These are the kings who reigned in the land of Edom before any king reigned over the children Israel:

32. Bela son of B’or reigned in Edom and the name of his city was Dinhaba.

33. Bela died and Yovav son of Zerach from Batzra ruled in his place.

34. Yovav died and Chusham from the land of the Temanites ruled in his place.

35. Chusham died and Hadad son of B’dad, who struck Midian in the plain of Moav, ruled in his place, and the name of his city was Avis.

36. Hadad died and Samla from Masreika ruled in his place.

37. Samla died and Shaul from Rechovot that is on the Euphrates ruled in his place.

38. Shaul died and Baal-Chanan son of Achbor ruled in his place.

39. Baal-Chanan son of Achbor died and Hadar ruled in his place, and the name of his city was Pau. His wife’s name was Meiheitaveil daughter of Matreid daughter of a gold refiner.

40. These are the names of the chieftains of Eisav according to their families, by their places, by their names: the chieftain of Timna, the chieftain of Alva, the chieftain of Y’seis,

41. the chieftain of Oholivama, the chieftain of Eilah, the chieftain of Pinon,

42. the chieftain of K’naz, the chieftain of Teiman, the chieftain of Mivtzar,

43. the chieftain of Magdiel and the chieftain of Iram. These are the chieftains of Edom according to their settlements in the land of their possession. That is Eisav, father of Edom.

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Notes

1. As opposed to angels.

2. Rather than truth.

3. Rather than “his face.”

4. Not necessarily physically, as opposed to the Hebrew “wrestled.”

5. Presumably the hip socket.

6. As opposed to “you struggled with God.”

7. A command, as opposed to “do not eat.”

8. i.e., the sciatic nerve.

9. The Hebrew word “na” appears twice in this verse. Onkelos understands the first to mean “please” and the second to mean “now.”

10. Onkelos understands the word “Elohim” in its secular sense rather than referring to God.

11. “Depend” is understood (see Rashi).

12. The Hebrew “kesita” is obscure and the Aramaic “churpa” is only less so. It’s generally understood to refer to a denomination of coin or to sheep. (Rashi understands Onkelos to mean the former; the Jastrow dictionary lists the latter.)

13. The Chumash treats El-Elohei-Yisroel (God, the God of Israel) as a place name.

14. As opposed to “deceitfully.”

15. Onkelos understands “securely” to refer to the city rather than to Shimon and Levi.

16. Rather than “from your loins.”

17. Onkelos makes “a libation” plural.

18. Rather than “mules.”

© Copyright 2021 Rabbi Jack Abramowitz