Note: The Shabbos Torah Reading is divided into 7 sections. Each section is called an Aliya [literally: Go up] since for each Aliya, one person “goes up” to make a bracha [blessing] on the Torah Reading.
1st 2nd & 3rd Aliyot: It’s the year 2205 and Yakov is 97 years old. He sends messengers to greet Eisav and is informed that Eisav is approaching, prepared to do battle. He applies a three pronged strategy in preparation for the confrontation: a) Tefilah – prayer b)diplomacy c) war. Prior to the actual confrontation, Yakov bests Eisav in a spiritual battle with Eisav’s Angel, and earns the name “Yisroel.” Due to the wound he sustained in the battle, G-d prohibits Yakov and his family from eating the Gid Hanashe – the sciatic nerve. Yakov and Eisav meet after 34 years.
4th Aliya: Yakov and Eisav agree to separate peacefully. Eisav returns to his kingdom of Seir, and Yakov settles outside of the city of Shechem.
5th Aliya: Dina is abducted and raped by Shechem the son of Chamor, and Shimon and Levi devise a strategy for successfully killing the entire male population of Shechem. According to Chazal, Shimon and Levi were 13 years old. Hashem (G-d) instructs Yakov to move to Beth El. Rivka’s nurse Devora dies, and Hashem confirms the name Yisroel upon Yakov.
6th & 7th Aliyot: Rachel dies while giving birth to Binyamin and Yakov buries her in Beis Lechem. Following Rachel’s death, Reuven switches the bed of Yakov from Bilha’s tent to Leah’s tent. Although Yitzchak will live another 21 years, the Torah relates his death at the age of 180 (2228). The remainder of Vayishlach lists Eisav’s descendants as well as the specific Kings of Seir who ruled prior to King Saul – the first king of Israel. (2882)