Our Parshat Vayeitzei is being sponsored by Benjamin and Gina Fishman and family of Ramat Beit Shemesh to express hakaras hatov to HKBH for the many simchas the family has experienced this year.. To the Fishman family, many thanks for your sponsorship and for 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.
Please forward to your relatives and friends and encourage them to sponsor a Parshat HaShevua. And please be in contact with me with any questions, or for further details.
Torah relates the opening posukim of Parshat Vayeitzei:
“And Yaakov departed from Beer-sheva and went to Haran. He encountered [Vayifgah] the place and spent the night there because the sun set; he took from the stones of the place and he put [them] around his head, and lay down in that place.” (Sefer Breish’t, Perek 28, posukim 10-11 as rendered to English with commentary in The Sapirstein Edition, “The Torah: with Rashi’s Commentary”)
A Rashi commentary (ibid, The Sapirstein Edition, “The Torah: with Rashi’s Commentary”) notes:
Our Rabbis explained the word “Vayifgah” as an expression of “prayer”, … and it has taught us that [Yaakov] instituted the evening prayer. The verse deviated from standard wording, and did not write “and he prayed,” to teach… that the earth contracted for him…
Footnotes on this Rashi (ibid, The Sapirstein Edition, “The Torah: with Rashi’s Commentary”) regarding “the evening prayer” tell:
The verse [“Vayifgah”] must allude to the evening prayer, for it speaks of what Yaakov did after sunset. (Berachot 26b, Breish’t Rabbah 68.9)
The earth contracted and thereby made his journey shorter…. is based on Rashi to Chullin 91b [the seventh chapter of Chullin is called “Gid HaNasheh”] — the Gemara says that Yaakov had passed by Har [Mount] HaMoriah and had not stopped there to pray. As he decided to return there, the earth miraculously contracted, and suddenly found himself at Har HaMoriah…. This is implied by the fact that “F’gah” connotes the encounter of two parties moving toward each other. Thus, according to this interpretation, “Vayifgah” connotes both “prayer” and “encounter.”
We have learned that the Avos [the Patriarchs] initiated the three Shemonah Essrei’s — Avraham: the morning prayer – Shacharit, Yitzchak: the afternoon prayer – Mincha, and Yaakov: the evening prayer – Maariv.
Two posukim later, Torah teaches:
“And behold! Hashem… said, ‘I am Hashem, G’d of Avraham your father and G’d of Yitzchak; the ground upon which you are lying, to you I will give it and to your descendants.'” (ibid, Sefer Breish’t, Perek 28, posuk 13,The Sapirstein Edition, “The Torah: with Rashi’s Commentary”)
Rashi comments on Sefer Breish’t, Perek 28, posuk 13 (ibid, The Sapirstein Edition, “The Torah: with Rashi’s Commentary”)
“Upon which you are lying.” The Holy One, Blessed is He [HaKadosh Borchu], folded up the entire Land of Israel beneath him. He thereby alluded to [Yaakov] that it would be easy to be conquered by his children — like four [daled] amos — which is a person’s place.
Yet again, as with Rashi on the opening posukim of Parshat Breish’t, with Avraham in Parshat Lech Lecha (Sefer Breish’t, Perek 12, posuk 7), we learn that the Jews have been given Eretz Yisrael and connect with, dwell and possess it by Divine Right.
Sefer Breish’t, Perek 28, posuk 15 (as rendered to English in the Artscroll Stone Edition Chumash), a posuk for the generations, reads:
“Behold, I am with you; and I will guard you wherever you go, and I will return you to this soil; for I will not forsake you until I will have done what I have spoken about you.”
Rashi’s commentary on posuk 15 (as rendered to English in the Artscroll Stone Edition Chumash) notes:
“What I have spoken about you.” — “Do not fear Eisev or Lavan, because I am with you and will not leave you until I have completed what I promised regarding you. I promised Avraham to give this land to his offspring (Sefer Breish’t, Perek 12, posuk 7), but it is only through you — not through Eisev — that this promise will be fulfilled.”
And so, our leaders of today need to internalize, to take to heart Hashem’s words to Yaakov regarding B’nei Yisrael in Eretz Yisrael:
“Behold, I am with you; and I will guard you wherever you go, and I will return you to this soil…”
May we, the B’nei 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 and that the expelled families of Amona be restored to their rebuilt homes, at government expense; both due to alt-leftist-agendized, supreme court legalized Yassamnik gunpoint. May our dear brother Jonathan Pollard be liberated and truly free — only upon his return home to Israel, and that Sholom Rubashkin, as well as the MIAs be liberated alive and returned to us in ways befitting Al Kiddush Hashem, as should the remains of the two chayalim from the Gaza War of three years ago. 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 prevent Chas V’Challila 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 Al’Kol HaGoyim”, the Ultimate Redemption, bimhayrah b’yamainu — speedily, in our time”, — Achshav, Chik Chuk, Miyad, Etmol!!!
Chodesh Tov and Good Shabbos!
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.