פ’ ויצא תשע”ט
Volume 26, Issue 7
INSIGHTS from the SEDRA
Insights from the Sedra is a project of the Scholar’s Kollel of Great Neck. It aims to provide several questions and answers about the Sedra, culled from various commentaries, including the following: Baal Haturim, Darash Moshe, Vedebarta Bam by Rabbi Moshe Bogomilsky, Torah Treasures by Dov Furer, Wellsprings of Torah by Alexander Friedman, and Kol Dodi by Rabbi Dovid Feinstein, Great Torah Lights by Rabbi Yitzchak Meir Goodman, Something To Say by Dov Wasserman, The Vilna Gaon, Growth Through Torah by Zelig Pliskin and The Call of the Torah.
ויצא יעקב מבאר שבע וילך חרנה
“Yaakov departed from Be’er Sheva and went toward Haran…” (28:10)
Rashi explains the phrase “Vayeilech Charana” to mean that when Yaakov left Be’er Sheva he intended to go directly to Haran. This would seem to contradict the Gemara, which was quoted earlier by Rashi (28:9), which relates that after leaving Be’er Sheva, Yaakov, went directly to the Yeshiva of Ever, where he remained for fourteen years studying the Torah diligently (Megillah 17a).
The Gemara raises the issue as to which should come first: to marry or devote oneself to the intense study of Torah. It concludes, if one is wealthy and does not have to work for a livelihood then he should first marry, and afterwards devote himself to the study of Torah. If marriage will place a financial burden upon him, then he should first study Torah and only later get married (Kiddushin 29b).
Yaakov left his parents’ home a wealthy man, and therefore planned on traveling directly to Haran to find a wife for himself. On the way, Eliphaz, the son of Eisav pursued him and stole all his money (see Rashi 29:11). Now that he was penniless, his first obligation was to study Torah. He therefore changed direction and went to study Torah at Ever’s Yehsiva. (Shabbos Delights)
ויקרא את שם המקום ההוא בית אל
“And he named that place Beit-El…” (28:19)
Beit-El means “House of G-d”. A verse in Sefer Yeshaya (2:3) refers to the Beit HaMikdash as the House of the G-d of Yaakov. Why is it referred to specifically as such? Hashem was the G-d of Avraham and Yitzchak as well!
Our forefathers called the place where the Beit HaMikdash was to be built by different names. In a verse about Avraham, it is called a “mountain” (22:14). Later, in a verse about Yitzchak, it is called a “field” (24:63). Finally, in our verse Yaakov calls it a “house,” which is a name for a more settled place. That is how Yaakov referred to it; he named that place “the House of G-d.” Therefore, when referring to the Beit HaMikdash, it is called the house of the G-d of Yaakov (Pesachim 88b). (The Chumash with Talmud)
עם אשר תמצא את אלקיך לא יחיה נגד אחינו הכר לך מה עמדי וקח לך ולא ידע יעקב כי רחל גנבתם
“With whomever you find your gods, he shall not live; before our brethren, recognize what of yours is with me, and take for yourself. Now Yaakov did not know that Rachel had stolen them.” (31:32)
Chazal note that Yaakov’s curse here contributed to the death of Rachel, who had taken her father’s gods. Nevertheless, the Ishbitzer Rebbe reads this verse in a novel manner: “With whomever you find your god” – what difference will it make? “He will never live” – your god is dead. Therefore, “recognize for yourself what is with me” – and see the true G-d, who is always with me to protect me from troubles. “And take for yourself” – adopt Him as your G-d and repent!
Yet Lavan remained unregenerate as implied by our parsha’s conclusion “And Lavan returned to his place” (32:2). IN contrast, “Yaakov went on his way…” (32:2), always walking, always progressing; therefore, “angles of G-d encountered him.” (Meshech Chochmah)
ויאמר יעקב כאשר ראם מחנה אלקים זה ויקרא שם המקום ההוא מחנים
“And Yaakov said when he saw the angles, ‘This is a Godly camp,’ and he called the name of the place Machanayim…” (32:3)
Rashi explains, quoting the MIdrash, that these two camps were the angles of Eretz Yisrael, who had come to accompany Yaakov back home, and those of galus, who were now leaving him.
Rabbi Avraham Sochtachover, author of Avnei Nezer, states similarly that when the Shabbos angels arrive, the weekday angels depart. Therefore, we welcome the arrivals with “Shalom Aleichem” and bid farewell to the others by singing “Tzeischem le’shalom.”
There are many Jews who trace their roots to Galicia, who omit the “Tzeischem le’shalom” stanza, deeming it impolite to welcome angels only to dismiss them moments later! But according to the above interpretation, we are actually saying farewell to the weekday angels! Therefore, perhaps we should sing “Shalom Aleichem” first. Welcoming the Shabbos angels, then “Tzeischem l’’shalom,” sending off the weekday angels, and then continue with the other stanzas, which are both addressed to the Shabbos angels! (Great Torah Lights)
The Divrei Torah sheet this week is sponsored in gratitude to Reuven and Stephanie Vilinsky. For future sponsorship opportunities or to receive this publication, please call Steve Zuckerman at 516 652 5266 or email email@example.com or Rabbi Lichter at firstname.lastname@example.org. Sponsorships in memory of or in honor of someone are $50.00 per issue.