General Overview: In this week’s reading, Vayishlach, Jacob returns to Canaan, but is fearful of his brother Esav. They meet and make peace. Jacob wrestles with an angel, and his name is changed to Israel. Jacob’s daughter Dinah is abducted by the prince of Shechem. Shimon and Levi destroy the city of Shechem and liberate Dinah. Rachel dies while giving birth to Jacob’s twelfth son, Benjamin. Isaac dies.
Aliya Summary: Jacob was on his way home to his father Isaac after twenty years of absence, having fled Canaan to escape his brother Esav’s wrath. As a peaceful overture, Jacob now sent ahead messengers to Esav with a reconciliatory message. The messengers returned with an ominous report: Esav is coming to “greet” Jacob with a troop of 400 men. Jacob was distressed. He divided his family and belongings into two groups—to allow one group to flee while the other was engaged in battle. He then prayed, calling upon G‑d’s promise to protect him.