Parshat Vayishlach: Acting for Peace

December 8, 2022
BBYO Weekly Parsha


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This week’s Parsha is Parshat Vayishlach. In this week’s Torah portion, we read of the continued saga between Yaakov and his brother Esav. After Esav feels that Yaakov has stolen the first-born blessing from him, Yaakov was told by his mother to run away to safety to the house of Lavan, his mother’s brother and eventually his own father-in-law. There Yaakov married and had 11 children. On the way back to his family home in Israel, he learns that Esav is on the way to meet him with 400 men. Yaakov is obviously very afraid of this encounter, and he prepares himself in three different ways.

First Yaakov prepares gifts to send ahead to his brother. From this we can learn the importance of giving to another, sometimes the gifts are physical material gifts, but other times the gifts can be our time, support, and love.

The second way Yaakov prepares to meet his brother is through prayer. As Jews, we have always turned to prayer even in the most difficult of times. It is also beautiful that at many BBYO moments, we make sure to have communal prayer moments as well, like on this Global Shabbat.

Finally, Yaakov also splits up the camp, by doing so he makes sure that even if G-d forbid, there is a war, the Jewish people will live on, as one half will be able to survive. Of course, we are not expecting war, but we also have moments where we split up. We have so many things in common, like our faith and being part of one organization, however, it is nice that sometimes we split up and have separate programming. Having these special moments lead to very moving experiences and allow us to bond with each other more deeply.

Yaakov really wanted to avoid conflict with his brother, because what he wanted the most was peace. For us, that is our greatest wish as well. We wish that all the conflicts and antisemitism would go away, and we would be able to experience only peace and happiness.

May this Shabbat be a Shabbat Shalom, a Shabbat full of peace for everyone.


Shabbat Shalom,

Mia Staminova, Shlicha and Robert Nikolov, Gadol, BBYO Bulgaria

Read commentary on this week's Parsha from BBYO teens around the world.

All views expressed on content written for The Shofar represent the opinions and thoughts of the individual authors. The author biography represents the author at the time in which they were in BBYO.

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