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by Zvi Akiva Fleisher

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Ch. 28, v. 10: "Va'yeitzei Yaakov miB'eir Sheva" - And Yaakov left from B'eir Sheva - Rashi comments that the departure of a righteous person from a city makes a mark. Rabbi Dovid of Tolna once came to a town and remarked that he sensed a special aura of sanctity there. People told him that the Holy Baal Shem Tov had visited the town. He entered the town Beis Midrash and immediately was drawn to a specific seat, again sensing its spiritual aura. He was told that this was the exact seat on which the Holy Baal Shem Tov sat. He said that this is the intention of our Rabbis with their saying that the departure of a righteous person makes a mark. Even after he has left a mark of sanctity remains.

Ch. 28, v. 10: "Va'yeitzei Yaakov miB'eir Sheva va'yeilech Choronoh" - And Yaakov left from B'eir Sheva and he went to Choron - Rashi comments that a word that needs a prepositional Lamed, meaning "to," can alternatively have a Hei at the end to mean "to." Why is Rashi raising this point here, as it occurs regularly? Another question is why the verse itself didn't simply say "l'Choron," and totally leave out "va'yeilech."

We would have diminished the letters Vov-Yud-Chof, as the Lamed would be needed as the prepositional prefix, and also the Hei at the end of ChoronoH. These four letters in the order Yud-Hei-Vov-Chof are a well known Name of Hashem that guards a person while traveling. It is extracted from the final letters of "KI malochoV yitzhaveH loch lishmorhco b'chol drochecho" (T'hilim). Rashi points out the added Hei to bring the extra letters in the verse to form this Name, which Yaakov took with him on his travels. (Rabbi Zvi Elimelech of Dinov)

Ch. 28, v. 10: "Va'yeilech Choronoh" - And he went to Choron - The Chid"o in Nachal K'dumim clarifies our verse based on the gemara Kidushin 29b according to the understanding of Rabbeinu Tam cited in Tosfos. When one reaches marriageable age, should he continue studying Torah and push of marriage, or should he marry and then attempt to learn even though he now has a "millstone on his neck" and he must earn, not just learn. Those who resided in Eretz Yisroel, who are financially secure should marry first, as they will have purity of mind and will continue to learn long hours given their financial ability to provide a family. Those who live in Babylonia, who are in the main poor, should study Torah for longer, as if they were to marry earlier they would not be able to provide sustenance for their family and would have to leave the hallowed halls of Torah study.

When Yaakov left home he had funds and jewellery, so he thought he was headed directly to Choron to find a wife. This is "Vayeilech Choronoh." When he was accosted by Elifaz and relieved of his funds and jewellery he became like one of the bnei Bovel and had to change his course. He then decided to study further in Yeshivas Eiver.

Ch. 28, v. 11: "Va'yikach mei'avnei hamokome" - And he took from the stones of the location - Rashi cites the gemara Chulin 91b that Yaakov took numerous stones and they fused and became one, as indicated in verse 8, "Va'yikach es ho'evven," singular. Tosfos ad. loc. says that the change to singular can easily be resolved by saying that he took one stone from the available stones.

Why does verse 8 stress that he took the stone that he had placed for his head? What difference does it make which stone he took as an altar?

The Ponim Yofos asks how Yaakov was allowed to use a stone from the mountain as an altar. The gemara A.Z. 45a says that you can be sure that any elevation in the land Canaan was used for idol worship.

The Beis Yoseif asks the most famous kashya in the Torah world. Why are there eight days of Chanukah given that there was only a seven day miracle with the oil, as there was sufficient oil for one day of lighting. The Baal Sho'eil Umeishiv asks that since they wanted to use only pure oil, why didn't they concern themselves with the fear of "tumas hesset," an impurity that is not counter-indicated even with a sealed bottle. He answers that they were concerned but had no choice. However, once they witnessed a miracle that there was still oil left for another day they realized that the oil was in fact pure, as Hashem does not perform miracles with impure objects. Thus the need for a miracle on the first day was necessary to guarantee that they had pure oil.

Similarly here, once a miracle was performed with the stones that Yaakov placed for his head he was assured that they were not used for idol worship, and he used only these stones/stone. (T'cheiles Mordechai)

Ch. 29, v. 7: "Lo eis hei'o'seif hamikneh hashku hatzone ulchu ru" - It is not yet the time of gathering the cattle offer drink for the sheep and go to graze - The time has not yet come to collect Hashem's sheep, the bnei Yisroel. In the meantime give them drink and food. Supply them with ample sustenance. This seemingly light level of "drush" was told to the Brisker Rov on Shabbos when he was very weak and near his end, so as to lift his spirits. He responded that this is not a "vertel." A great person must have said this. He himself repeated it at the third "seudoh" and added that it is sourced from the Holy Zohar. He added that based on this there is a section of "birkas hamozone" that is now well understood. We first say, "V'al habayis hagodol v'hakodosh" and then "r'einu zuneinu par'n'seinu." We are asking Hashem tobring back the glory of Yerusholayim, the kingly household of King Dovid, and the Beis Hamikdosh. We then request that in the interim Hashem please sustain us, R'einu zuneinu par'n'seinu v'chalk'leinu." The insight on the verse was said by Rabbi Meir of Primishlan.

Ch. 29, v. 25: "Va'y'hi vaboker v'hinei hee Leah" - And it was in the morning and behold she was Leah - B.R. 70:19 relates the morning conversation between Yaakov and Leah. He said to her, "You trickster the daughter of a trickster. I called out Rochel and you responded that you were Rochel. Leah said back to Yaakov, "You likewise responded in the affirmative to your father when he asked you if you were Eisov." Although the M.R. ends off with Leah saying that she had Yaakov as a teacher in impersonation, this dialogue can be explained on a deeper level. With Yaakov's receiving the primogeniture blessing he absorbed the spiritual destiny that Eisov theoretically could have had. In essence he was now Yaakov and the positive aspect of Eisov. The talk of the day was that Lovon had two daughters and Yaakov had two sons. The older of each, Eisov and Leah would marry, and the younger of each, Yaakov and Rochel would marry. Leah told Yaakov that since he impersonated Eisov and received Eisov's blessings, he embodied Eisov. If so, she was his appropriate wife as well, independent of any consideration of his also taking Rochel as a wife. (Avodas Yisroel of Kozhnitz)

Ch. 29, v. 26: "Lo yei'o'seh chein bimkomeinu" - Thus is not done in our place - What kind of flimsy excuse is this!? Lovon clearly agreed to give Yaakov his daughter Rochel as a wife, notwithstanding that she had an older sister. Kol Yehudoh answers that Lovon said, "LO yei'o'seh KEIN bimkomeinu," NO is made into YES in our place. It is perfectly acceptable here in Choron to say one thing and then say the opposite.

Ch. 29, v. 31: "Ki snuoh Leah" - That Leah was hated - Heaven forbid to say that the righteous Yaakov would hate his wife. Rather Hashem saw that Leah was hated by herself, meaning that she came down hard on herself for perceived shortcomings in her service of Hashem. (Rabbi Simchoh Bunim of Parshizcha in Kol Simchoh)

Ch. 30, v. 1: "Hovoh li vonim v'im ayin meisoh onochi" - Give me children and if not I am dead - In the next verse Yaakov responds with "Hasachas Elokim onochi ashem mona mi'meich bonim," am I in the place of G-d Who has withheld from you children?" These words are explained by Rabbi Yehoshua Admor of Belz as follows: When a person prays directly to Hashem for some salvation, Hashem sometimes grants it to him even if the petitioner is in doubt if Hashem would deliver. This is not the case when he uses an intermediary, in this case Yaakov. Since Rochel entertained the possibility of "v'im ayin," and if not, Yaakov could no longer be her conduit for this wish. This was his response. "Am I in the place of Hashem, Who responds positively even if you are in doubt? The source of withholding children is you, "Asher mona me'meich" because of your doubt.



See also Oroh V'Simchoh - Meshech Chochmoh on the Weekly Parsha, Chasidic Insights and Chamisha Mi Yodei'a

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