DECEMBER 9-10, 2016 10 KISLEV 5777
"And Ya'akob departed from Beer-Sheba." (Beresheet 28:10)
Ya'akob left his father's house to run away from Esav and to find a wife. Rashi explains: "It need only have written 'And Jacob went to Haran.' Why does it mention his departure? But it tells us that the departure of a righteous person from a place makes an impression, for at the time that a righteous person is in a city, he is its magnificence, he is its splendor, he is its grandeur. Once he has departed from there, its magnificence has gone away, its splendor has gone away, its grandeur has gone away."
Rabbi Obadiah Yosef zt"l asks: Why, when Ya'akob left, did all of the grandeur leave? After all, Yitzhak and Ribkah, both of them great sadikim, remained in Beer-Sheba. If so, the grandeur was still there!
The answer is that the main goal of the sadik is to give merit to the people, that they should go from one level to the next. The sadik goes from the Bet Hakneset to the Bet Hamidrash to teach the people wisdom and knowledge, to light up the land with the honor of the Torah. Ya'akob Abinu accomplished this. We see in the Torah, it says that Ya'akob was perfect "and dwelled in the tents." The word "tents" is in the plural. It doesn't say he stayed in the tent, which is the singular term. This teaches us that he was moving among the many tents to teach the people Torah and halachah.
However, Yitzhak stayed in one tent because he was blind and could not see. Therefore, when Ya'akob left, his leaving was felt immediately in the many synagogues and Midrashim. Shabbat Shalom. Rabbi Reuven Semah
"Ya'akob awakened from his sleep and he said 'surely Hashem is in this place...'" (Beresheet 28:16)
When Pharaoh awakened from his sleep, the Torah relates that he went back to sleep. The Rabbis point out that this is a typical difference between Ya'akob and Pharaoh. When Ya'akob awakens, he is immediately aware of the presence of Hashem and does something about it, whereas Pharaoh turns over and goes back to sleep!
In the last few years, we have seen and continued to see monumental and awesome events; natural disasters, political upheavals, besides many mind-boggling situations on an individual level. We must truthfully ask ourselves, are we "just turning over" like the Pharaoh of old, or are we following in the footsteps of our father Ya'akob, and dedicating our lives to Hashem and the Torah? Shabbat Shalom. Rabbi Shmuel Choueka
Money, money, money. Some say it makes the world go 'round. Many judge people by how much wealth they have accumulated. "He's worth millions" is an often-heard value statement. Society has created a culture that esteems and respects material wealth. Good and bad, happy and unhappy, are measured by ownership of the "things" life has to offer. Society preaches that the more toys people have, the happier they must be.
A person may have a great deal of property, but that does not necessarily mean that the individual is worth a lot. For example, Shelomo Hamelech said: "Better dry bread and peacefulness with it, than a house full of meals eaten in strife (Mishlei 17:1). Meaning: Peace is more important than wealth. Another example (from Shelomo Hamelech): "A good name is preferable to great wealth, benevolence to silver and gold" (Mishlei 22:1). A good reputation has unlimited value.
You may get caught up in the chase for the almighty dollar and all the things it can buy. If you do, think a moment and put things in perspective. Ask yourself: "Is what I am doing adding to my wealth or to my worth?" This assessment will increase your true value on a daily basis and, more importantly, for eternity. (One Minute with Yourself - Rabbi Raymond Beyda)
A quick tip to boost the power of your prayer. Hazal tell us (Masechet Baba Kama Daf 92A) that Hashem loves the tefilot of one Jew for another so much that anyone who prays on behalf of a fellow Jew with similar needs will have his prayer answered first. A special service has now begun to provide people with names of others who find themselves in a similar predicament. You can call with complete anonymity and get the name of someone to pray for and give the name of someone that needs our prayers. The name of the service is Kol Hamitpalel. Categories include: Marriage; Income; Health; To have children etc.
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