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Daily Aliya for Vayishlach, Revii (4th Aliya)

Aliya Summary: Jacob’s family approached and greeted Esav (except for Dina, whom Jacob hid). Despite Esav’s objections, Jacob prevailed upon him to accept the gift he had sent ahead. Esav offered to accompany Jacob on his trip home, but Jacob declined the gesture. Esav returned to his home in Se’ir, and Jacob proceeded to the city of Sukkot. Eventually Jacob arrived at the outskirts of the city of Shechem, where he purchased a plot of land and erected an altar to G‑d.

Why did Yakov hide Dina from Esav? Some explain that Yakov did not want Esav to ask for (take) Dina as a wife and thereby subject her to his wickedness. For this, Yakov was punished, because Dina would have been a positive influence on Esav. Commentaries ask whether Yakov should be praised, rather than punished, for protecting Dina. Bartenura says that Yakov’s reason for hiding Dina was not the fear of anything negative happening to her,but the fear that she would succeed in reforming Esav, which would make him worthy of the blessing that he would dominate his brother.All these possibilities highlight the ambiguity of life, and the far-reaching consequences of our actions and inactions, many of which will not be known to us for years, if ever. All we can do is make the best informed decision we can at the time, and hope G-d gave us the wisdom to make the right one.