Maasei Avot Siman L’Banim

June 20, 2006

[m]; the idea that the actions of the Forefathers are a model for the actions of the descendants; for example, Yaakov Avinu, Jacob our forefather, is described in the Bible, as elaborated in the Midrash, as having dealt with Esav, his twin brother but archenemy, in the following three ways: by “Tefila,” Prayer, “Doron,” the giving of gifts, as Yaakov sent a large gift to Esav, as they approached their fateful confrontation, and, if all else failed, “Milchamah,” War; Yaakov was prepared to fight with his brother.

So should the Jewish People at all times of confrontation with their enemies, take that triple approach – first and foremost, Prayer to the Almighty, second, sending a gift to the enemy, indicating their desire to settle differences amicably, but always, as a last resort, to be ready to fight.