When encountering Aisav, Yaakov bowed seven times earthward until he reached his brother.
Chazal in the Medrash (Esther Rabba 7,8) write that Haman claimed against Mordechai why is he refusing to bow down in front of him when his great grandfather Yaakov bowed down in front of Esav his great grandfather? Mordechai answered that he is a descendant from Binyamin who did not bow down to Esav in this encounter because he was not yet born. However, this really does not justify Mordechai’s refusal to bow down before Haman since the bottom line is Binyamin was the son of Yaakov who did bow down before Aisav?
Hagaon Rav Leib Heiman ztl answers this question with a big yesod in understanding the difference between Yaakov’s two names Yaakov and Yisrael. Yaakov was his name during the period of fathering the eleven Shevatim. It was only after his encounter with Aisav, was Yaakov given a new name Yisrael by Hashem. Bereishis 35 9 לא יקרא שמך עוד יעקב כי אם ישראל יהיה שמך ויקרא את שמו ישראל. The higher calling of Yisrael symbolizes Yaakov’s tikkun of the chait of Aitz Hadaas of spiritual completion and perfection. This level was not granted to him until this moment. With the encounter of Aisav, Yaakov was not yet granted this higher status. So in essence it was Yaakov who bowed to Aisav and all the Shevatim except for Binyamin who was not yet born. Binyamin was the only one born after Yaakov acquired the title name Yisrael (Bereishis 35,18).
This is what Mordechai told Haman. Even though Yaakov bowed down to your great grandfather Aisav, nevertheless, Yisrael never bowed down to Aisav. I am from Binyamin whose father was Yisrael, not Yaakov, who never bowed down to Aisav. I represent perfection and shelaimus. I cannot bow down to you.
Sometimes Am Yisrael carries the banner of the name Yaakov from the lashon of aikev which means heel. It is when we don’t realize our special dearness to Hashem that we allow ourselves to be stepped upon and trampled, manipulated and bullied, by the fear-mongering outside forces who surround us. Sometimes we carry the banner of Yisrael which contains the letters of לי ראש our heads belong to Hashem. When we possess clarity of vision and purpose we cannot be twisted or forced into subjugating our will for something we do not fully believe in. The beacon of light that we must follow is the emes of Yisrael and that cannot be compromised.