of the Weekly Reading: VaYetsei
be read on 11 Kislev 5764 (Dec.
is the 7th Reading out of 12 in Genesis and
7th overall, and 12th out of 54 in overall
28:10-32:3; Haftorah: Hosea 11:7-14:10 (because of 12:13
"And Yaakov fled to Aram...and served for a wife... and kept sheep.")
Avot: not till after Passover
(Genesis 28:10 - 32:3) On the way to Charan, Yaacov stopped to sleep.
He dreamt of a ladder standing on the ground and reaching heavenward
with angels ascending and descending. G-d told Yaacov that He would
give him the land upon which he slept. Yaacov was awed by this vision
and made the stone upon which he slept holy to G-d, and renamed
the area G-d's Temple. He vowed that if G-d would protect him, he
would dedicate his life to G-d and give Him a tenth of his possessions.
Yaacov continued his journey, and arrived at a well near Charan.
Seeing his cousin Rachel with her father's sheep, Yaacov lifted
the heavy stone atop the well for her, and returned with her to
Lavan's house. He made a deal to work for Lavan for seven years,
and then marry Rachel. Lavan deceived Yaacov and substituted his
older daughter Leah.
Lavan told Yaacov that he could marry Rachel after the celebrations
of the marriage to Leah, but he would have to work another seven
years. The Parsha relates the birth of Yaacov's children through
Leah, Rachel, and their handmaids Bilha and Zilpah. Yaacov decides
to leave with his family, but then agreed to continue working for
Lavan. Lavan and his sons became jealous of Yaacov's wealth. After
six years, G-d told Yaacov to return to his birthplace. When they
left, Rachel stole Lavan's idols. Lavan learned that they had gone,
and chased after them. He sought his idols, and Yaacov, who did
not know it was Rachel, said that whoever was found with them would
not live. Lavan and Yaacov made a treaty, with G-d as witness.
THE MASTERS OF KABBALA (K:07-64/VaYetsei
holy Zohar, teachings of Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai
afterwards it is written, "I will give you the land [malchut] that you are
lying upon". Now we have a vehicle for the Holy [chesed, gevura and tiferet].
Thus it is that Jacob saw that he was the completion of the forefathers.
the full article, click to the "Weekly Torah" section on our KabbalaOnline
* * * * *
the holy Ari, Rabbi Yitzchak Luria of Safed
then, is the mystical meaning of the verse: "Jacob [Yaakov] left [or: 'went out
from'] Be'er Sheva and went to Haran." The partzuf of Yaakov originates, as we
have said, from the yesod of Abba after the extension of the yesod of Imma and
terminated at the chest of Zeir Anpin. At that point [yesod of Abba] goes forth
and is revealed from within the yesod of Imma, which is termed "Be'er Sheva,"
as we will explain.
For the full article, click to the "Weekly
Torah" section on our KabbalaOnline
* * * * *
the Shelah, Shney Luchot HaBrit by Rabbi Isaiah Horowitz
subject matter of wasting time is fraught with profound mystical significance,
as every particle of time is a separate unit and none of it must be lost. A particle
of time is perceived as an extension of G-d's eternity, or a mini-branch of the
branches represented by His Ineffable Name.
For the full
article, click to the "Weekly Torah" section on our KabbalaOnline
FROM THE CHASSIDIC REBBES
dreamed, and there was a ladder set up on the earth, and the top of it reached
to heaven." (28:12)
Jacob's ladder is symbolic of prayer, the
purpose of which is to connect the higher celestial spheres with the lower material
plane. Moreover, prayer is a two-way street, elevating a person's corporeal nature
while at the same time drawing spirituality down to earth.
Diburim) (from L'Chaim #594)
"Jacob awoke from his sleep and
said, Surely the L-rd is present in this place." (28:16)
too, had a dream, about which the Torah states, "And Pharaoh awoke. And he
slept and dreamed a second time." This expresses the essential difference
between Jacob and Pharaoh: The first thing Jacob did when he woke up was direct
his attention to G-dly service, studying Torah and praying. Pharaoh, by contrast,
just turned over and went back to sleep!
(Rabbi Meir of Premishlan)
(from L'Chaim #594)
"Surely G-d is present in this place,
and I knew it not." (28:16)
How could Jacob not have known that
G-d was present? We need to understand this statement in the context it was uttered.
Jacob was coming directly from the Holy Land, where he had spent 14 years studying
in the yeshiva of Shem and Eber. As a result, he had mistakenly concluded that
a Jew can serve G-d only through Torah study. Now, however, he realized that a
Jew can serve G-d even while he is sleeping, provided it is done for the sake
MYSTICAL CHASSIDIC DISCOURSE
the Chabad Master series, produced by Rabbi
Yosef Marcus for
essay from Rabbi Shaul Yosef Leiter, director of Ascent
(for a free weekly email subscription,
click here) (W:07-64/VaYetsei
Vayetzei opens with the dramatic journey of one Jew alone, who leaves his home
for a stange land. By his own testimony, he arrived with nothing but his walking
stick. Nevertheless, he was filled with optimism and confidence, because he trusted
G-d unconditionally. Even when the situation worsened, when his own relatives
were ready to deceive him, his faith still did not waiver. And we see the results:
through this faith and confidence Jacob merited great wealth. But more important,
each of his children, the fathers of the 12 tribes, turned out to be exemplary
- each one connected spiritually to G-d.
Let us look a little deeper. Abraham
had a good son, Isaac, but he also had Ishmael. Isaac had a good son, Jacob, and
another son, Esau. This is really peculiar, because both of our forefathers raised
their children in Israel, the Holy Land, a protected, special environment. On
the other hand, Jacob not only lived and established his family outside of Israel
(in exile), but he and his wives had to constantly worry that their 12 sons should
not learn from or be affected by the customs and habits of the local people.
fact, Jacob made sure to fill his children with Jewish knowledge, which he himself
had previously received from his father and from his great-grandfathers, Shem
and Eber. Jacob succeeded in the two areas in which each of us wishes to attain
success: in physical things, and in his more spiritual endeavors. What was his
secret? His absolute faith in G-d. Each of us has to look at our lives and realize
that we have nothing to rely upon but our Father in heaven.
The Baal Shem
Tov comments on Jacob's famous dream of a ladder resting on the ground, its top
reaching the heavens, angels going up and down on it. He points out that the numerical
value of the word "ladder" (in Hebrew, "sulam") is 136, the
same as the word for "money" ("mamon"). Money either elevates
us or drags us down. Let us be counted among those who are raised up.
Shlah begins his weekly discussion commenting on the obligation of an employer
to pay salaries - a commandment that we learn from Jacob's experience with his
uncle Laban, who constantly tried to cheat him of his fair wage. This also applies
to each of us in our relationship with G-d. If we do our job and fulfill what
the Almighty requires of us, then G-d, our employer (see Ethic of the Fathers
2:15-16), by His own command, is required to give us our due reward - not sometime
in the future, but now.
Shabbat Shalom, Shaul Leiter
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