Vayeitzei – Tes Kislev
Every single weekly Torah portion that we read has meaning to the time when we read it, on a very particular, relevant basis. The Torah is not just a history book that gives us information about what happened in the past but continues to direct our behavior, lives and perspectives on what we should do in the immediate present.
In this week’s portion we read about Jacob leaving his ancestral home in the healthy, holy environment of Beer Sheva where he is surrounded and encompassed by the holiness of Isaac, his grandfather Abraham and of course his mother Rebecca, and is forced by circumstances to flee his home and go to Charan, the abode of his mother’s brother and future wives.
Our Rabbis tell us that the Hebrew meaning of that word Charan indicates “The anger of Almighty G-d”. It is a place of deceit, fraud, lies and negative behavior. In fact, the head of the community, Lavan, is named “Lavan the fraud, the thief”.
The obvious question is why Jacob had to leave a place of insulated holiness and elevation and go to a place of negativity and evil where his life would begin as the Father of the Jewish people. Significantly, all of the Tribes of Israel were born in that particular environment indicating that it was only in that space where the potential seed would produce the powerful and eternal future of the Jewish people to be nurtured and brought to its kinetic state.
It is precisely that message that is critical to the historical journey of the Jewish people. Our objective is not to remain in a gettoized, isolated, insulated space benefitting from our own powers and holy forces. We are destined to move into the darkness of the world’s environment and influence it to change and transform to be positive, holy and energized. It is why we were brought into this world; why God chose us and why we are renowned as the “light unto the nations”.
It is at this time when the world has gone completely topsy-turvy in an insane manner, where is the lines of right and wrong are blurred, where our security is very nebulous and where evil lurks in every corner, not clearly identified by environment and space, when we, the Jewish people, must continue to bring forth a sense of morality, ethics, light and positive energy.
As the Baal Shemtov’s Father said to him prior to his passing at the age of 3 “there are two things that you need to know in your life: One is to love every single Jew as you love yourself, a concept of kindness, love, sharing and commitment to the benefits of the world around us; and two is to be afraid and fear no one except Al-Mighty G-d Himself.
When following these traits we will continue to persevere and be successful in our ultimate mission to make this world a dwelling place for Al-Mighty G-d where goodness, peace, happiness, salvation and kindness will reign eternally.
Have a wonderful Shabbos and great week,
Rabbi Sholom D. Lipskar