Vol 3.07 - Vayetze Spanish French Audio Video
In this week's Torah portion, Vayeitzei, we read about Jacob's departure from the Land of Israel for Charan and his subsequent dealings with Laban.
The first thing the Torah tells us is that "he reached a certain place," i.e., Jacob prayed. We then learn that Jacob worked for Laban for 20 years, married, and fathered the Twelve Tribes. Then, on his way back to Israel, Jacob was met by "angels of G-d."
The Torah is not a book of stories. The word Torah is derived from hora'a, Hebrew for teaching, as the events that the Torah relates are a guide for us to apply in our daily lives.
Just as Jacob left the sanctity of the Land of Israel and his Torah studies to go to Charan at G-d's command, so too is every Jew enjoined to go out into the world and involve himself with "Laban the Aramaean."
A Jew must never isolate himself within the "four cubits of Torah study," but must leave "the Land of Israel" - his preoccupation with G-dliness and holiness - to travel to even the lowest places on earth in order to draw his fellow Jews closer to G-d and to mitzvot (commandments). And, like Jacob, the Jew must always conduct himself like a tzadik (righteous person), even in "Charan," the most trying and difficult of circumstances.
The first thing Jacob did upon leaving the Holy Land was "vayifga bamakom - and he reached a certain place." Jacob actively sought out Hamakom (referring to G-d), and was indeed rewarded with a revelation of G-dliness that came to him in a dream.
Years later, however, when Jacob left Charan to return to Israel, there was no need for him to seek G-d out, for "he was met there by angels of G-d." After 20 years of G-dly service in Charan Jacob did not have to initiate the search; the angels and G-d Himself came to him! Indeed, Jacob merited an even higher revelation of G-dliness, one that occurred while he was awake and not while dreaming.
When a Jew goes out toward "Charan," spreading Judaism and drawing his fellow Jews nearer to G-d, his departure from the rarefied world of G-dliness and holiness is not a descent, but in actuality, constitutes a very great ascent. In Charan, Jacob merited both physical and spiritual success, as it states, "And the man increased exceedingly."
When a Jew is "in the Land of Israel" - involved in his own spiritual perfection to the exclusion of others, no matter how great his achievements he can never attain the level that is reached through the service in "Charan." For it is only when he goes out into the world to draw his fellow Jews closer to G-d that he merits a much higher degree of both material and spiritual success.
Adapted by Maayan Chai from Likutei Sichot, Volume 3
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