Sunday, November 21, 2010

Don't go searching for your brothers..

There is a recurring theme in the bible that if one is traveling with the purpose of reuniting with his brothers, one will inevitably meet an angel on the way - and normally not a friendly one.

It happened with Jacob on the way to meet with Esau -
וַיִּוָּתֵר יַעֲקֹב לְבַדּו, ֹוַיֵּאָבֵק אִישׁ עִמּוֹ עַד עֲלוֹת הַשָּׁחַר

Gen: chapter 22, 22.

This meeting had the effect of both wounding Jacob, and possibly stopping him from escaping in the middle of the night from his brother. (see חזקוני).

It happened to Joseph in this weeks Parasha, while he is searching for his brothers who are supposedly in Nebulus:
וימצאהו איש והנה תעה בשדה
Gen: chapter 37, 16.

Without this enigmatic meeting, Joseph would not have found his brothers, and ergo not have been sold into slavery. Not exactly the angelic visit he would wish for.

It happened to Moses as he was heading back to Egypt to meet up with his brother Aron - and on that instance the angel wasn't playing around and straight out tries to kill Moses:
וַיְהִי בַדֶּרֶךְ בַּמָּלוֹן וַיִּפְגְּשֵׁהוּ יְהֹוָה וַיְבַקֵּשׁ הֲמִיתוֹ

The moral of the story seems fairly obvious:
  1. If you are a biblical character, try and avoid meeting your brothers at all costs.
  2. Any angels you meet on the way are not trying to help you. Do the opposite of whatever they tell you, and you might just avoid 400 years of slavery.

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