Torah Portion Va'yishlach: Gen 32:4 – 36:43

Va'yishlach is Hebrew for "And he sent."  It refers to Jacob's sending messengers with gifts to his twin brother Esau.

Synopsis: Jacob is about to encounter his brother Esau after 20 years.  Not sure if Esau wants to greet him or kill him, he divides his belongings (and his wives and children) into two separate camps.  At night a “man” wrestles with Jacob and renames him Israel  -- Hebrew for “strove with El” (one of the G-d names), because he "strove with G-d and man and prevailed."  Esau and Jacob reconcile peacefully, but go their separate ways.  Jacob and Leah’s daughter, Dinah (pronounced Deenah in Hebrew) is accosted by the Prince of Shechem.  Her brothers Simeon and Levi avenge her honor by killing the men of Shechem after convincing them to be circumcised.  Jacob talks to G-d who tells him to build an altar in Bethel, where G-d reconfirms the Covenant (many offspring and a homeland) and renames him Israel (this time, there is no wrestling).   Jacob’s beloved wife Rachel dies in childbirth with Benjamin and Jacob buries her along the road and not in the family plot at the Cave of the Machpelah.  Isaac dies (he’s 180 years old);  Esau and Jacob bury him. Reuben (Jacob's first born) has his way with Jacob’s concubine Bilhah. The Torah portion ends with Esau’s genealogy.