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Parshat Vayishlach: PowerPoint Presentation
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Parshat Vayishlach:

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  1. Parshat Vayishlach: What is Yaakov Doing in Shechem? Shiur by Menachem Leibtag Presentation by Ronni Libson

  2. Parshia General Topic Division into Parshiot A) 32:4-33:17 Yaakov's confrontation with Esav upon his return to Eretz Canaan. B) 33:18-20 Yaakov's arrival in Shechem. C) 34:1-31 The incident with Dina in Shechem. D) 35:1-8 Yaakov's ascent to Bet-El, fleeing from Shechem, and building a mizbayach. E) 35:9-22 God's blessing of Yaakov at Bet-El, followed by Rachel's death and Binyamin's birth. F) 35:23-29 A summary of Yaakov's children, followed by the death of Yitzchak. G) 36:1-19Toldot Esav...

  3. Yaakov arrives in Eretz Canaan Buys property and establishes his household in Shechem • Why doesn’t Yaakov go home after being away from parents over twenty years? • Why doesn't Yaakov return immediately to Bet-El to fulfill his "neder" that he would establish a 'Bet Elokim' in Bet-El?

  4. According to the parshiot, the travel was as follows: ויבא יעקב שלם עיר שכם אשר בארץ כנען בבאו מפדן ארם ויחן את פני העיר: (בראשית לג:יח) ויבא יעקב לוזה אשר בארץ כנען הוא בית אל הוא וכל העם אשר עמו: (בראשית לה:ו) ויסעו מבית אל ויהי עוד כברת הארץ לבוא אפרתה ותלד רחל ותקש בלדתה: (בראשית לה:טז) ויבא יעקב אל יצחק אביו ממרא קרית הארבע הוא חברון אשר גר שם אברהם ויצחק: (בראשית לה:כז)

  5. Possibility:Shechem was a short stop on the way to Bet-El • Yaakov's young children and immense cargo forced him to travel slowly • Similar to brief stay in Succot: Yaakov travels to Bet-El right away to fulfill “neder”

  6. Possibility:Shechem was a short stop on the way to Bet-El • Yaakov travelled from Padan Aram to Har ha'Gilad in only seven days. Gilad to Bet-El, a much shorter journey, should be able to be completed in less time. • Even if Yaakov plans to rest in Shechem, why purchase land? • Chapter 34 gives the impression that Yaakov and his family have settled in Shechem

  7. Maximal ages of Yaakov’s children upon arrival in Eretz Canaan: Reuven – 12 Shimon – 11 Levi – 10 Dina (7th child) - 5 . . . Possibility:Shechem was a short stop on the way to Bet-El Yaakov lived with Lavan 20 years, but married Leah after working for 7 years Incident at Shechem must have taken place at least 5 years later!

  8. Why does Yaakov stop in Shechem at all? Following in Avraham’s footsteps • Avraham, in journey from Aram, stopped in Shechem and built a mizbayach Yaakov does the same, and also buys a plot of land • Avraham continues directly to Bet-El Yaakov should too, especially because of “neder”, and then continue on to Hebron to see parents Why does Yaakov stay in Shechem?

  9. Perhaps Yaakov doesn’t stay in Shechem Stops there only to build a mizbayach thanking God for his safe arrival Stays there only briefly, purchasing a plot of land as an investment for the future Immediately thereafter, Yaakov continues to Bet-El (parshia E) as promised in “neder”, and just as Avraham Avinu had done

  10. Parshia General Topic A) 32:4-33:17 Yaakov's confrontation with Esav upon his return to Eretz Canaan. B) 33:18-20 Yaakov's arrival in Shechem. C) 34:1-31 The incident with Dina in Shechem. D) 35:1-8 Yaakov's ascent to Bet-El, fleeing from Shechem, and building a mizbayach. E) 35:9-22 God's blessing of Yaakov at Bet-El, followed by Rachel's death and Binyamin's birth. F) 35:23-29 A summary of Yaakov's children, followed by the death of Yitzchak. G) 36:1-19Toldot Esav... Opening pasuk in parshia B: Opening pasuk in parshia E: Story in parshia E took place immediately after story in parshia B

  11. New order of Events: • After confronting Esav, Yaakov continues to Eretz Canaan • Stops in Shechem to build a mizbayach and thank God (like Avraham) and buys land • Continues to Bet-El to fulfill “neder”; Bechira confirmed and name changed; re-affirms promise and builds a matzeyva • Travels to Hebron to visit parents; Rachel dies on the way; sets up tent in Migdal Eder (close to Yitzchak); incident with Reuven and Bilha • Later moves to Shechem (had previously bought land there); incident with Dina • Leaves to Bet-El for protection as a result of incident in Shechem; builds a mizbayach there • Yaakov returns to Hebron before Yitzchak's death

  12. Supports for reordering of parshiot: • Yaakov’s words to Yosef before his death: Would not be considered “when I was returning from Padan” if it was after spending several years in Shechem on the way (rather Yaakov was travelling south to see his father) • When God changes Yaakov’s name, it is only a number of days after the malach had done so (and not several years) • It makes sense that the matzeyva, marking the spot (in parshia E), should be set up before the mizbayach (in parshia D)

  13. Supports for reordering of parshiot: • Incident with Dina in Shechem makes more sense: • By the time Yaakov moves back to Shechem, children are old enough for incident to occur • People of Shechem see Yaakov as a permanent neighbor, rather than a transient, and thus seek marital and economic ties with Yaakov's family • Shimon and Levi take leadership roles since most probably Reuven had been 'demoted' from his position as firstborn after the incident with Bilha • Yaakov does go immediately home after not seeing his parents for over twenty years

  14. Why does Torah present these events out of order? Parshia E, which ends with the incident with Reuven and Bilha (that most likely took place much earlier), is taken from its chronological location and intentionally placed it before the concluding statement of 35:22 Stresses that all of Yaakov's children are chosen - even Reuven! Pasuk ends mid-sentence (should end with Yaakov's curse of Reuven) Reuven remains part of the 'chosen family,' (second half of sentence is 'cut off‘) ; Entire parshia is attached to the statement "and the children of Yaakov were twelve - the children of Leah: the firstborn of Yaakov = Reuven,…”

  15. Parshia General Topic A) 32:4-33:17 Yaakov's confrontation with Esav, upon his return to Eretz Canaan. B) 33:18-20 Yaakov's arrival in Shechem. C) 34:1-31 The incident with Dina in Shechem. D) 35:1-8 Yaakov's ascent to Bet-El, fleeing from Shechem, and building a mizbayach. E) 35:9-22 God's blessing of Yaakov at Bet-El, followed by Rachel's death and Binyamin's birth. F) 35:23-29 A summary of Yaakov's children, followed by the death of Yitzchak. G) 36:1-19Toldot Esav... Why does Torah present these events out of order? After informing about purchase of land in Shechem, Torah continues with what later took place in Shechem as a result of this purchase