Daily Zohar # 4116 – Vayishlach – Why did Jacob bow to the ground seven times
Daily Zohar 4116
118. [פָּתַח רַבִּי אַבָּא וְאָמַר], אֶלָּא כָּתוּב (שמואל-א כה) וַאֲמַרְתֶּם כֹּה לֶחָי וְאַתָּה שָׁלוֹם וּבֵיתְךָ שָׁלוֹם וְכָל אֲשֶׁר לְךָ שָׁלוֹם. וַהֲרֵי נִתְבָּאֵר שֶׁאָסוּר [לוֹ] לְהַקְדִּים שָׁלוֹם לָרְשָׁעִים, וְכֵיוָן שֶׁאָסוּר, אֵיךְ מָצָאנוּ שֶׁדָּוִד אָמַר פָּסוּק זֶה לְנָבָל? אֶלָּא הֲרֵי פֵּרְשׁוּהָ שֶׁאָמַר לַקָּדוֹשׁ-בָּרוּךְ-הוּא כְּדֵי לְקַשֵּׁר אוֹתוֹ לְחַי, וְחָשַׁב נָבָל שֶׁעָלָיו אָמַר.
Continued from previous DZ
“וְהוּא עָבַר לִפְנֵיהֶם וַיִּשְׁתַּחוּ אַרְצָה שֶׁבַע פְּעָמִים עַד גִּשְׁתּוֹ עַד אָחִיו.”
“Then he crossed before them and bowed to the ground seven times until he came near to his brother.”
Rabbi Elazar opened and quoted this verse and said, Jacob was chosen by the Holy One, Blessed be He, to be complete and closer to him more than Abraham and Isaac. Now, how did he bow to evil Esau, who was on the side of another god, and who is bowing to him also bowed to another god.
“כִּי לֹא תִשְׁתַּחֲוֶה לְאֵל אַחֵר כִּי יְהוָה קַנָּא שְׁמוֹ אֵל קַנָּא הוּא.”
“(for you shall worship no other god, for YHVH, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God),”
It was said, “The fox, whose time had come, bowed down to him.” This example tells that if there is a time when the fox becomes a king above all animals, they all bow down to him even though he is the smallest of the animals. One answer could be to say that Jacob bowed down to Esau because it was his time of strength. Jacob did not bow to Esau because he represented another god, and Jacob would never bow to the impure side.
We learned that we should not be the first to greet the wicked, but from the following verse, we learned that King David sent a peaceful greeting message to Nabal the wicked.
1 Samuel 25:6
“וַאֲמַרְתֶּם כֹּה לֶחָי וְאַתָּה שָׁלוֹם וּבֵיתְךָ שָׁלוֹם וְכֹל אֲשֶׁר לְךָ שָׁלוֹם.”
“And thus you shall say to him who lives in prosperity: ‘Peace be to you, peace to your house, and peace to all that you have!”
For the sake of peace, King David sent this message, but he instructed his messengers to say it as he dictated. The חומת אנך, Chida חיד”א, explains that King David’s message starts by unifying the Shechina כה with Yessod ‘לֶחָי’ to bless the Shechina, but Nabal thought that it was about him.
Jacob did not bow to Esau. He had the protection of the Shechina leading him, so he bowed to the Shechina seven times.