Two illustrious European Rabbis were once involved in a great quarrel between them. This was an ongoing dispute of great duration. Many people attempted to mediate the argument but not only did they fail they often intensified the disagreement.
After one such attempt, one of the disputing Rabbis referred to this week’s portion. Yaakov wanted to make peace with his brother Esav. He was hesitant to send ordinary messengers to try the reconciliation so he sent MALACHIM and as Rashi points out concerning the word MALACHIM (which can mean messengers or angels) he sent MALACHIM MAMASH, “real angels”. (Gen. 32,4) He was confident that the angels would succeed in finding a way to bring about the peace he sought with his brother. They did, however, fail for we read that Esav approached with four hundred soldiers. (Gen. 33,1)
What happened afterwards is a very telling story. When Yaakov and Esav met the meeting was peaceful and the two brothers departed after their meeting in harmony. “From this we see”, said the Rabbi, “that if you want to make peace you have to confront each other face to face and discuss your differences.”
Friends often have disagreements, husband and wives have problems, bosses and employers have differences between them. The only way to solve these problems is by direct communication between the two parties.