Shabbat

Portion VaYishLach: Asahel, Angels, and the Lie of the Prophet Elisha

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In this portion Jacob (a MAJOR Prophet) returns from Syria with the family (like many, his kids were "angels", okay maybe not ALL the Time)

Hearing (from scouts – remember this is the dangerous Middle East) that his brother Esau is "on the warpath" – Jacob sends G-dly Angels to his brother. With what message?

Through the ages our Master Rabbis taught that Angels are Messengers

Do you remember Jacob's dream last week about the Angels on the Ladder? This week's ZOHAR section continues its related discussion about :

"The Shechina" – presence of the Almighty – versus the "Holy Manifestation of Angels"

Keeping things somewhat brief – I ask: where do the Prophets fit in here? Are Prophets manifesting "Shechina" or are they Messengers like Angels – or just "Holy People"?

Last week I came across how the "Story of Syria" was interfering with the "Story of Israel". Elisha the "Regional Prophet" shows up in Damascus. The King (no friend of Israelites) sends gifts in order to bribe Elisha (for sake of argument I say) for a healing blessing. The gifts are brought by Asahel, the Chief Minister, and Elisha says "Tell the King he will Live!"

BUT then he cried! Asahel asked him "why"? And Elisha says "He will die, and you will reign", and sadly, you will not be good to my Israelites." So Asahel kills the king, and becomes king!

 What level of holiness was Elisha speaking from (telling a lie)? ZOHAR says "outside of Israel" even prophets cannot expect to be at the highest level – despite their holy messages.

What Message was Jacob sending to Esau? Jacob had the power of Shechina and sent peace   messages to his warring brother, a power precisely because he was returning to Israel!

What messages are WE sending out?

We always need to check and see if we are sending out good vibes/messages.

Lesson of the portion? We need angels, and to be angels, for one another, to ease The pain of Israel's exile, AntiSemitism ... can only be eased when we are angels to one another,

And facing towards Israel.

 

Shabbat Shalom

Rabbi Andy Eichenholz