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Parshat Vayeitzei                                                     November 13, 2021  9 Kislev, 5782
                                         Rabbi Jonathan Sacks on Parshat Vayeitzei
                    TORAH
              ARTSCROLL  144           What is it that made    Jacob awoke from his sleep, he  the Babylonian and Roman
                  HERTZ  106           Jacob – not Abraham or   thought, “Surely the Lord is in   conquests; the expulsions,
                                       Isaac or Moses – the true  this place, and I was not aware  persecutions, and pogroms
                  HAFTORAH             father of the Jewish    of it.” He was afraid and said,   of the Middle Ages; the rise
             ARTSCROLL   1140          people? We are called the  “How awesome is this place!   of antisemitism in
                                       “congregation of Jacob,”
                                                               This is none other than the
                                                                                           nineteenth-century Europe;
                  HERTZ  118           “the Children of Israel.”   house of God; this is the gate   and the Holocaust. It is
                                       Jacob/Israel is the man   of heaven.” (Gen. 28:12–17)   truly astonishing that after
                                       whose name we bear. Yet                             each cataclysm, Judaism
                    Aufruf             Jacob did not begin the   In parshat Vayishlach, fleeing   renewed itself, scaling new
                       of              Jewish journey; Abraham   from Laban and terrified at the   heights of achievement.
                Kyle Heisler           did. Jacob faced no trial   prospect of meeting Esau   During the Babylonian exile,
                                       like that of Isaac at the   again, he wrestles alone at   Judaism deepened its
                     Times             Binding. He did not lead   night with an unnamed    engagement with the Torah.
                                       the people out of Egypt   stranger: Then the man said,   After the Roman destruction
           Weekly Times                  or bring them the Torah.   “Your name will no longer be   of Jerusalem it produced the
                                       To be sure, all his     Jacob, but Israel, because you   great literary monuments of
           Shacharit Sun.       8:30 am   children stayed within the   have struggled with God and   the Oral Torah: Midrash,
           Mon. & Thurs.     6:35/7:45 am   faith, unlike Abraham or   with humans and have   Mishnah, and Gemara.
                                                               overcome.”…So Jacob called
           Tue., Wed. & Fri.      6:45/7:45 am   Isaac. But that simply   the place Peniel, saying, “It is   During the Middle Ages, it
           Mincha               4:25 pm   pushes the question back   because I saw God face to   produced masterpieces of
                                       one level. Why did he                               law and Torah commentary,
                                         succeed where Abraham   face, and yet my life was   poetry, and philosophy. A
           Shabbat Times                 and Isaac failed?     spared.” (Gen. 32:29–31)    mere three years after the
                                                               These are the decisive spiritual  Holocaust it proclaimed the
           Candle Lighting      4:21 pm   It seems that the answer   encounters of Jacob’s life, yet   State of Israel, the Jewish
                                       lies in parshat Vayetse
           Friday Mincha        4:25 pm   and parshat Vayishlach.   they happen in liminal space   return to history after the
                                                                                           darkest night of exile.
                                                               (the space between, neither a
           Hashkama             8:00 am   Jacob was the man    starting point nor a
                                       whose greatest visions                              When I first became Chief
           Parsha Shiur         8:30 am   came to him when he   destination), at a time when   Rabbi I had to undergo a
                                       was alone at night, far   Jacob is at risk in both   medical examination. The
           Main Sanctuary       9:00 am                        directions – where he comes
                                       from home, fleeing from                             doctor had me walking at a
           Youth Minyan         9:00 am   one danger to the next.   from and where he is going to.   very brisk pace on a
                                                               Yet it is at these points of
                                       In parshat Vayetse,                                 treadmill. “What are you
           Beit Midrash         9:15 am   escaping from Esau, he   maximal vulnerability that he   testing?” I asked him. “How
                                                               encounters God and finds the
           Gemara Shiur         3:45 pm   stops and rests for the   courage to continue despite all   fast I can go, or how long?”
                                       night with only stones to                           “Neither,” he replied. “I will
           Mincha/SS            4:15 pm   lie on, and he has an   the hazards of the journey.   be observing how long it
                                       epiphany:He had a       That is the strength Jacob   takes for your pulse to
           Shabbat Ends         5:28 pm                        bequeathed to the Jewish
                                       dream in which he saw a                             return to normal, after you
                   Latest Times for    stairway resting on the   people. What is remarkable is   come off the treadmill.”
                Shema/Shemoneh Esrei   earth, with its top     not merely that this one tiny   That is when I discovered
                                       reaching to heaven, and   people survived tragedies that   that health is measured by
           November 13       9:09/9:59 am   the angels of God were   would have spelled the end of   the power of recovery. That
           November 20      9:14/10:03 am   ascending and      any other people: the       is true for everyone, but
                                                               destruction of two Temples;
                                       descending on it…When                               doubly so for leaders and
                    Next Shabbat
                     Vayishlach             Kiddush is sponsored by Michelle & Ethan Heisler
           Candle Lighting      4:15 pm                     in honor of Kyle’s Aufruf
           Mincha               4:15 pm                  and upcoming marriage to Jackie Olemberg
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