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Yaakov is forced to flee from home and family because of the threat that his brother Eisav poses. He is informed by his mother that his brother, in a moment of jealousy, frustration and anger, threatened to kill him. Yaakov is no physical weakling; he is not the pale yeshiva student, the caricature of nineteenth century Haskalah literature. In fact, we see in this week's Torah reading the description of the great physical strength of Yaakov. He is able to single-handedly remove the rock that covers the well of water, a task that requires many ordinary people to do so in concert. 

Later in the biblical narrative of his life, we will see how he is able to wrestle with an angel and prevail and to accomplish other feats of physical prowess. So, why does Yaakov flee from his home and rightful place and embark on a long journey of exile? Why does he not simply stay and fight it out with Eisav?
Later, upon his return to the Land of Israel, it is apparent that he is willing to go to war with his brother in order to protect himself and his family. So, why does he shy away from confronting Eisav directly when he is threatened? He certainly has the physical ability to do so if he desired to physically defend himself against any violence emanating from his brother.
Yaakov will prove himself to be a valiant warrior not only spiritually but in the physical world as well. If so, then why should he be forced to flee instead of standing his ground and justifiably defending himself against the aggression of Eisav?
Yaakov was assigned the characteristic trait of truth by the prophets of Israel. This has baffled many throughout the ages because in the biblical narrative regarding his life we find that Yaakov was forced many times to resort to tactics that were understandably necessary but did not meet the bar of absolute truth.
Because of this obvious contradiction between theory and reality, many different interpretations have been given as to how to judge the truthfulness of Yaakov. The one that appeals most to me is that Yaakov remained true to himself, to his inner being and to his natural personality. Yaakov never desired to be what he was not. He never wished to be like his brother Eisav, a man of force and violence.
His inner self was to be a whole and peaceful person, a scholar and a dweller in tents. Even when life forced him to use the tactics of Eisav, to be a man of aggressive prowess, his inner self always remained true to his nature of peace, harmony and perfection. Being true to one's own inner self, not wishing to be what we are not, not aping the behavior of others – be they celebrities, political leaders, sports champions or simply a reflection of the changing mores of a bewildered society – is the greatest lesson that we can learn from the life of our father Yaakov. And that is the greatest ultimate truth that one can achieve in life.
Shabbat shalom
Rabbi Berel Wein

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