Parshas VaYishlach: You’re Never Really Alone.
In Parshas Vayishlach, Yaacov knew that he was going to fight with Esau, and it would be dangerous. This is why he moved his family to the other side of the river, but he then realized that he had left a few jugs on the other side. Yaacov walks back to the side of the river with the jars and the Pasuk says that “Yaacov remained alone.” This is before Yaacov realized Esau’s angel is there, and his family was on the other side of the river, so what does this mean? Of course he was alone! What is the Torah coming to teach us? Rav Gedalia Schorr זצ”ל explains that when it says alone, the Pasuk means truly alone, that Hashem’s presence left Yaacov. Rav Schorr says that Yaacov had such a large amount of Emunah in Hashem that is only felt in Olam Haba for his entire life. Understandably, when this left, he was very troubled. This fight between Yaacov and his brother’s angel happened because the angel was sent down to challenge his faith, and even though he did not feel Hashem with him, he chose to strengthen his Emunah and gained the name Yisrael, which the Ramban interprets as “one who goes directly to Hashem.” The Slonimer Rebbe interprets the Rambam teaching that belief in Hashem is a Mitzvah. He continues to explain that normally Emunah is easy if the Jew is observant, but when the Jew feels disconnected from Hashem is when there is a Mitzvah to believe. In the darkest times in history, our faith in Hashem shines and when we cling to him, we show our true Emunah. May we all be Zocheh to maintain our connection with Hashem always and may our Emunah bring Mashiach in these dark times. Good Shabbos!
Zack Pollack (’22) is a staff writer for The Valley Torah Scroll.