Vayishlach וַיִּשְׁלַח (And he sent) Genesis 32:4–36:43 Torah Study and Poetry (8)

A B’nai Mitzvah Torah Planner with Poetry and Inspiration.

Cycling Through Polar Opposites

Jacob and Esau
spirit and matter
material and spiritual
scholar and warrior
fear and compassion
family and stranger
body selfish survival drive
soul yearning for transcendence
take care of my own needs
help another, taker or giver
serve myself or a higher cause
each wrestling and cycling
like day and night
some stronger, others longer
we spiral through
darkness and light
―Genesis 32:4–36:43


Human signposts guide
inspire and enable

Jacob’s life in the Holy Land
empowers us
experience moments of true freedom
discerning truth

Jacob’s Charan years inspire
enable us to persevere in struggles
challenging yet vibrant and exhilarating

Jacob’s Egyptian period
overpowered by forces beyond our control
part and parcel of our lives
negotiated with wisdom, dignity and integrity

All are vital and productive seasons
in our lives
―Genesis 32:4–36:43


Vayishlach וַיִּשְׁלַח
And he sent
Genesis 32:4–36:43
engage if you feel sent
to do something good in the world today
this week where do you feel
called to go
and do
―Genesis 32:4

Fight and Flight

a man inside
fight or flight
―Bereshit 32:8–21

Wrestling Lessons Haiku

learn daylight lessons
dream awareness into life
night times wrestle strong
―Genesis 32:25–28 Haiku, a form of Japanese Poetry with 5–7–5 syllables per line.

I Am … Blessings Flow in Truth

I have lied like Jacob
seeking a blessing
about who I am in moments of fear and greed
I have pretended to be someone else
something else even to myself
a lie that can be taken back later
joked about, “I didn’t mean it”

I have told the truth
like Jacob wrestling with the angel
about who I am in moments of truth and generosity
I have found safety and love
and trust in the world
with words that can never be taken back

Engage here if you struggle with truth telling
naming self and trusting
expanding the capacity for love and awareness
showing your face
―Genesis 32:28 Prose Poetry usually doesn’t rhyme and has a story running through the lines.

Wresting to Find Truth

Jacob wrestled until able to tell the truth
And say: I am Jacob,
vulnerable and afraid
I have spent my life grasping
I need a blessing, I need help to go on

Wrestling with what is done and left undone
when I can stop denying vulnerability
find gentler self
kindness rises
―Genesis 32:23–27

Names Haiku

what is in a Name
Jacob and Israel same
is one different
―Genesis 32:28–29

Facing faces poetry with Kimberly Burnham. Photo by Ryan Kwok on Unsplash

Facing Faces

Jacob about Esau
“If I propitiate him with presents in advance
and then face him, perhaps he will show me favor.”
―Genesis 32:21

Jacob about God
So Jacob named the place Peniel, meaning
“I have seen a divine being face to face
yet my life has been preserved.”
―Genesis 32:31

Jacob to Esau
“for to see your face is like seeing the face of God
and you have received me favorably

―Genesis 33:10 Found Torah Poetry, the poet selects words, highlights them and create a poem from the words already found ion the page.


This week as many other weeks
I wake up
“God has favored me and I have plenty”
safe, secure, satisfied
ready to give to the world around me
―Genesis 33:10

Word Cloud Poetry, the most common words found in a selected text are the largest in a Word Cloud creating a visual representation of important themes in Vayishlach Genesis 32:4–36:43 And He Sent.

Originally Published in Vayishlach Genesis 32:4–36:43 Journal Your Journey Through a Year of Torah on December 15, 2019.



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Kimberly Burnham

Writer, Poet, Ekphrastic Writer-in-Residence, Nerve Whisperer, Brain Health Coach, Author of The Traveling Brain: Illuminating Peace Poetry in 5000 Languages.