Evading Eisav by Michael Winner/12/9/2022 We began this week with my wife not feeling well for a day. The next day, and continuing for three days, I was down with a high fever. Finally, I got better yesterday afternoon, and of course last night, my wife started to come down with something herself.My 12-year-old daughter said to me, "I was thinking about this. When I get sick, it's not big deal. But when you or mommy gets sick, then we, of course, help out more, because you can't. It's only then we realize and appreciate how much you both do every day!"It's good to have a child who can understand that. Of course, she's a girl, so it's expected. My sons are more like (with an Israeli caveman accent), "What? You're sick? So who's going to make food?"Useless creatures, boys are.In the beginning of this week's parsha, Yaakov returns to Eretz Yisroel, only to meet up with Eisav and his "troops." Throughout the conversation between them, we see Eisav attempting to "build a relationship" with Yaakov, by offering to help him, offering to travel with him, offering to lend some of his men to help Yaakov. And with each attempt, Yaakov gently refuses, with this excuse or that excuse. And throughout the conversation, we see Yaakov calling Eisav "my master."Rav Pinkus points out that whenever somebody who is not … of high standing, who has no interest in changing his ways, wishes to befriend us, we seemingly have two options. The first, is to befriend him. The second is to push him away harshly. Neither is a good option. We cannot be friends with such a person, yet at the same time, we cannot start an all out war with him. Therefore, we must do what Yaakov did … be nice, but stay away.After thinking about this, I had an additional thought to add, which I've seen played out several times in life.Eisav, and the "Eisav" within us, likes a good confrontation. After all, he "lives by the sword." Forget about the concept of being nice for the sake of being nice. Perhaps Yaakov was being nice as part of his plan to keep Eisav away.Throughout their conversation, Yaakov was constantly replying, "thank you my master, but because of this and that, and that and this…." He wasn't simply refusing outright, he was "agreeing" with Eisav's "niceness" and giving sound reason why he couldn't accept it. Had he said, "No thanks, no thanks, no thanks," Eisav would have sensed the confrontation, and continued to push at it. By consistently complimenting Eisav, ever so slightly, and passively getting out of accepting his offers, Eisav did not sense any confrontation, and therefore left in peace, leaving Yaakov in peace.Unfortunately, there are people out there, even amongst the religious, who thrive off of "making waves," not caring who they run over or who they disrespect. Naturally, we should stay away from such people. Yet, if we go against them, they will have a natural "attraction" to us, and wish to cling themselves to us even more. But, perhaps, if we simply gave them the minimal "honor that they so deserve," they will be happy with that and go away for good.Have a wonderful Shabbos!