Parshat Vayishlach: Heaven Sent

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Introvert & Extrovert
11 Dec 2008
Arts & Media

Let us get vertical –




An intro to the introvert:

A state of static and stigma,

Always looking in, too afraid

To look out; it is the natural state,

Or so it convinces itself – after all,

We are all different people with

Different looks and outlooks – why

Then should it go beyond the “me”

And embrace the “you”?


An excerpt to the extrovert:

Of the gregarious persuasion,

Going beyond the self. Now we

Don’t mean one of those who is

Always looking away because it

Fears what it might find when looking

In, we don’t speak of those who feel a

Need to control the outside world

Because their inside world is a total

Mess… No, we speak of the extrovert

In the positive sense of the term, always

Going beyond, pushing the envelope,

Enveloped within the dreams and possibilities

Of someone daring enough to look passed the

Self yet secure enough to live in the present.


But the question is: how to know when going out of

Oneself is a positive thing and when it is a negative?


We are all subjective – if you say you aren’t, well then,

My point exactly – so how to know when where we go

Is healthy or not; how do we know if the places we go

Are driven by the soul’s purity or the body’s selfishness?


Yaakov sent angels

Ahead of him to

Esau his brother


There are times when we must face the parts closest to us

That are also the furthest away; times when the fragments in our

Lives must be acknowledged and bridged, mended, put back

Together and made whole again – moments when we must

Leave what is safe and secure for the things that need us to

Make them safe and secure. And these moments need purity.


To the land of Seir

The field of Edom


When heading towards all that is cold and dark, one would do well

To ensure their flame, their candle is burning vibrantly and passionately.


And one does this by first sending the purist parts, the parts untouched and

Untouchable, the parts heaven sent, the angels within, to Esau, that piece of

Darkness that needs to be turned to light, the ice that needs to be thawed and

Made warm. Only then, once the ground rules are set, once we know beyond

Any doubt – reasonable or otherwise – that our core is secure and our purpose

True, then and only then can we fight for what is true – only after we ascertain

That the playing field can only make us lighter and never darker, then and only

Then can we approach our brother, ourselves, the parts that seem to have broken

And separated – only then can we read passed the intro and become the extrovert…


It is only through messengers heaven sent, that heaven can approach earth;

Only through the pure angels within us all can humanity embrace a brother.

Mendel Jacobson is a writer, poet and journalist living in Brooklyn. His weekly poetry can be seen at

The words of this author reflect his/her own opinions and do not necessarily represent the official position of the Orthodox Union.