This week, our Parshat HaShevua, Parshat Vayeitzei is being sponsored by Rabbi Peretz and Lea Gold of Ramat Beit Shemesh to commemorate their grandson Yaakov Lesnik’s Bar Mitzvah. To the Gold famiily, many thanks for your sponsorship and your continued kindnesses.
You can celebrate a Simcha — a birth, a Bar/Bat Mitzvah, a Chassuna or other Simcha event in your life, or commemorate a Yahrtzeit of a loved one, or for whatever other reason by sponsoring a Parshat HaShevua. Parshiyot Viyigash and Vayechi are still open for sponsorships to complete Sefer Breish”t and sponsorships are open in Sefer Sh’mos for all Parshiyot after Parshat Beshalach.
Please be in contact with me with any questions, or for further details.
Last year, this author discussed the attributes possessed by Rivka Imeinu of unconditional kindness and bringing unity, as well as her ability to discern when the use of cunning was appropriate and to pass these attributes on to her son Yaakov Aveinu. In the times in which we are living, the message of discerning kindness from cunning, compassion from cruelty L’Shem Shemayim is meaningful, as is the message of Yaakov’s dream on Har Moriah, while laying on the twelve stones which Hashem merged into one.
The Chumash (The Sapirstein Edition: The Torah with Rashi’s commentary), Sefer Breish’t, Perek 28, posukim 11-12 relates:
“He encountered the place and spent the night there because the sun had set; he took from the stones of the place and put [them] around his head, and lay down in that place. And he dreamt and behold! A ladder was set earthward and its top reached heavenward; and behold! angels of Hashem ascending and descending on it.”
Rabbi Mordechai Katz, in Sefer L’lmode Ul’Lamed on our Parsha (page 40), cites Breish’t Rabbah 68 which tells:
During his sleep, Yaakov saw the vision of a ladder thousands of miles long. The ladder rested on the ground but it extended up to the heavens. Three angels resembling humans began to ascend the ladder. They represented steps and then descended. The one representing Modai rose fifty-two steps, and then came down. The one representing Greece climbed one hundred and eighty steps and,then climbed down. Finally, the one representing Edom ascended countless steps, and seemed to climb higher and higher. “Does this one not descend?” Yaakov asked with fear.
“Fear not”, Hashem replied. “Though this nation appears to be reaching great heights, it too will descend.”
…Like him [Yaakov], the Jews have known the uncertain passage from one nation to another. And, like Yaakov during his dream, they have observed the rise of various heathen nations, only to see their eventual fall. Sometimes, though, Jews wonder if the reign of a particular nation will ever come to an end; certain nations seem to be too powerful to ever decline. They ask, like Yaakov did, “Does this one not descend?” However, Hashem’s reply still holds true. All nations will eventually descend and only the Jewish nation will reign supreme in the end.
We’ve seen this proven time and again, countless times throughout history — the famous 19th century author Mark Twain comments on the rise and fall of great powers, and the eternality of the Jews. And we’ve seen the fall of great powers in our generation such as Germany and the communist USSR. And in our very day, might we be witnessing with our own eyes the descent of yet another malach (angel) — the moral and economic decline and fall of the United States? “…One nation, under G’d, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all” — drowning in moral and fiscal decay because the liberals, the politicians have falsely connected “liberty and justice” with depravity such as “gay rights” and legal abortion while claiming to be “one nation under G’d…”, and because of government social welfare spending causing trillions of dollars of national debt which conflicts with the Divine lesson to man to “live within one’s means”?
May we, the B’nai Yisrael be zocha that our brethren — the refugee families from Gush Katif be permanently settled and be made totally whole — be totally restituted for all that was stolen from them at leftist-agendized, supreme court legalized gunpoint, that our dear brethren Jonathan Pollard and Sholom Rubashkin, as well as the MIAs be liberated alive and returned to us in ways befitting Al Kiddush Hashem. May we have the courage and strength to stand up and physically prevent the possibility of Chas V’Challila any future eviction of Jews from their homes and the handing of Jewish land over to anyone, let alone to enemies sworn to Israel’s and Judaism’s destruction and eradication. May we fulfill Hashem’s blueprint of B’nai Yisrael as a Unique people — an Am Segula, not to be reckoned with as with “the nations” and may we be zocha to see the Moshiach, the Ge’ula Shlaima, as Dov Shurin sings; “Ki Karov Yom Hashem V’Kol HaGoyim”, the Ultimate Redemption, bim hay v’yameinu — speedily, in our time”, — Achshav, Chik Chuk, Miyad, Etmol!!!
Moshe Burt, an Oleh, is a commentator on news and events in Israel and Founder and Director of The Sefer Torah Recycling Network. He lives in Ramat Beit Shemesh.