by Zvi Akiva Fleisher
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SEDRAH SELECTIONS PARSHAS VA'YEITZEI 5768 BS"D
Ch. 28, v. 10: "Va'yeilech Choronoh" - And he went to Choron - At the end of the previous parsha (28:2) Yitzchok commanded Yaakov to go to Padan Arom. In verses 5 and 7 it says that he went to Padan Arom. If so, why does our verse say that he went to Choron?
1) Although Lovon originally resided in Padan Arom, after the death of Terach he moved to Choron to take control of property he inherited from Terach that was located there. Yitzchok was not aware of the move. After not finding Lovon there he was apprised of his move to Choron. (Baa'lei Tosfos)
2) Our verse simply means that to get to Padan Arom he went in the direction of Choron. (Rashbam)
3) This means he went with the anger of Eisov upon him. (Baa'lei Tosfos) The letter Hei at the end of this word, meaning TO, requires clarification.
4) Choron and Padan Arom are one and the same. (Chizkuni)
Ch. 28, v. 11: "Va'yifga bamokome …… va'yishkav bamokome" - And he came upon the place …… and he laid himself to rest in the place. Commentators translate "baMokome" in both places in our verse as "WITH Hashem." Mokome is an expression of Hashem's presence infusing every place on earth. Yaakov's connection with Hashem;s Name being expressed with this word is explained by the Mahar"i Chalavoh. If we take the four letters of "Shem HAVAYOH" and square the value of each letter we have 100+25+36+25 = 186. Similarly "Mokome" has the same value, as does Yaakov when we add 4, the number of letters in his name.
Ch. 28, v. 11: "Ki voh hashemesh" - Because the sun had descended - Rashi derives from the word choice "ki voh" rather than "uvoh hashemesh" that the sun suddenly descended before its set time. How is this derived? Mahar"i Chalavoh says that the combination of "ki voh" can be read "kovoh," it was extinguished. Extinguishing something means that fuel was still present and it would have burned further if not for intervention. Similarly, the sun set suddenly before its set time.
Ch. 28, v. 11: "Va'yikach mei'avnei hamokome" - And he took from the stones of that location - Why didn't Yaakov have a pillow? Medrash Habiur says that he did not use a pillow because coddling oneself brings to forgetting Torah knowledge.
Ch. 28, v. 13: "V'hi'nei Hashem nitzov olov va'yomar" - And behold Hashem stands above him and He said - Rashi on verse 15 says that this was the first time that Hashem had not spoken to Yaakov until now. Rashi one verse 17 says that Yaakov had already reached Choron, but realizing that he had passed the future site of the Beis Hamikdosh, the place his father and grandfather had prayed to Hashem, he decided to retrace his steps, and returned there. This act had a most important impact. Had he not returned, he would not have received a prophecy in Eretz Yisroel and would not be able to receive prophecy in the Diaspora. (Nirreh li)
Ch. 28, v. 16: "Va'yikatz Yaakov Mishnoso Va'yomer" - And Yaakov awoke from his sleep and he said - The first letters of these words spell "tzibur," a congregation. When there is a quorum of ten men praying together the Holy Spirit, the "Sh'chinoh," is present and the prayers are more readily heard. This is the continuation of our verse, "ochein yeish Hashem bamokome ha'zeh."
Ch. 29, v. 11: "Va'yishak Yaakov" - And Yaakov kissed - The Ramban, Rabbeinu Bachyei, and others explain that Yaakov kissed Rochel in an appropriate manner, either on the forehead, arm or the like, avoiding any romantic connotations. We might say that we have the same letters as "va'yishak" a mere six words earlier, "va'yashk," in the previous verse. Just as "va'yashk es tzone Lovon" was done with no passion, so too, "va'yishak." (Nirreh li)
Ch. 29, v. 12: "Ki achi ovihoh hu" - That he was a relative of her father - Rashi cites a medrash, which says that Yaakov indicated through these words that he was a brother in deceit. If Lovon would be deceitful, Yaakov would outdo him. Given that Yaakov was the embodiment of EMES, how is it that he could outdo Lovon in deceit?
Ch. 29, v. 13: "Va'y'cha'bek lo va'y'nasheik lo" - And he hugged him and he kissed him - We find the opposite order with Yaakov and his grandsons Efrayim and Menasheh, "Va'yishak lo'hem va'y'chabeik lo'hem" (Breishis 48:10). The normal order is kissing before hugging, but here, Lovon was after any possessions he could "liberate" from Yaakov. (Rokei'ach)
Ch. 29, v. 14: "Va'yeishev imo chodesh yomim" - And he resided with him a month of days - Rashi comments that Lovon was willing to take Yaakov into his home because he was his relative, but it was not gratis. He had Yaakov work as a shepherd. In the middle of this Rashi says, "v'chein ossoh," and he did like this. Mahar"i Chalavoh explains that Rashi is telling us that Lovon kept his word.
What has Rashi accomplished in clarifying our verse by telling us this point of information? Perhaps he is bothered with the word "imo," with him. As expanded upon a number of times, but especially in parshas Bolok, there is a nuance of difference between "imo" and "ito." ITO simply means WITH HIM, even without a united purpose, as a group of disparate people flying on an airplane, albeit to the same airport, but each to a different destination and for a different purpose. IMO would be used when a group of people is flying together to attend the same wedding.
Given this, how did Yaakov reside IMO for a month? The answer is that Yaakov embodied the character trait of EMES, truth. This one time Lovon kept his word and not only told Yaakov that he may stay with him for a month, but also actually had him as his guest for the month, not evicting him earlier. This is the key to understanding IMO. (Nirreh li)
Ch. 29, v. 21: "Hovoh es ishti" - Give me my wife - Yaakov sounded like he was in a rush. Rabbeinu Tovioh says that he wanted to have 12 sons, the numerical value of "hovoh." Rabbeinu Bachyei writes that Rochel was 5 years old when Yaakov negotiated with Lovon for Rochel. This is why Yaakov offered to work for seven years. Until that time Rochel would be a minor and could not have a viable pregnancy. Perhaps this is another intention of the word "hovoh" = 12. Rochel has turned 12. (Nirreh li)
Ch. 30, v. 1: "Hovoh li vonim" - Give me sons - Perhaps the word "hovoh" was uttered by Rochel to remind Yaakov that he said the same word when telling Lovon that it was time for him to marry Rochel (29:21). The message was that he wanted to procreate with her, so why hasn't this wish been realized yet? (Nirreh li)
Ch. 30, v. 1: "Hasachas Elokim onochi" - Am I then in the place of Hashem - Medrash Hagodol connects these words with Yoseif's saying, "hasachas Elokim oni" (Breishis 50:19). Yaakov's message was: You will bear a child who will utter these words of self-deprecation and yet you complain to me.
Ch. 30, v. 2: "Hasachas Elokim onochi asher mona mi'meich pri bo'ten" - Am I then in the place of Hashem who has held back from you fruit of the womb - Minchoh V'luloh translates these words as: I am indeed under Hashem, i.e. my face is etched on the Throne of Glory, which is under Hashem. This allows for me to have children. The reason you are not bearing children is on your account.
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