This year’s Parshat Vayeitzei vort is being sponsored by Aryeh and Lisa Koenigsberg and family of Ramat Beit Shemesh dedicated lilui nishmas for Aryeh’s grandparents: Chaya Perel bas Arieh and Yissachar Dov ben Yisrael. To the Koenigsberg 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.
As our Parshat Vayeitzei, Torah relates:
“Yaakov departed from Beer-sheva and went toward Haran. He encountered the place and spent the night there because the sun had set; he took stones of the place which he arranged around his head, and lay down in that place.
“Yaakov arose early in the morning and took the stone that he had placed around his head and set up a pillar; and he poured oil on its top.” (Sefer Breish’t, Perek 28, posukim 10-11 and 18 as rendered to English in the Artscroll Stone Edition Chumash)
The Artscroll Stone Edition Chumash provides two commentaries regarding these posukim which provide a lesson for our times regarding the uniqueness of every Jew within a unity of national mission (ibid, page 145) :
“In that place.” This place was Mount Moriah, the site where Avraham bound Yitzchak on the altar and where the Beit HaMikdash would later stand.
“He took from the stones.” Midrashically, the Sages render that he took several stones. The stones began quarreling, each one saying, “Upon me shall this righteous man rest his head.” Thereupon Hashem combined them all into one stone. That is why posuk 18 reads: “and [he] took the stone,” in the singular. (The Artscroll Stone Edition Chumash citing Rashi)
The concept of “quarreling stones” is understood… as moral message to man, for in a similar situation, human beings would surely vie for the honor of serving such a great person. The Sages teach that the stones symbolized the nation that Yaakov would soon begin to establish. There were twelve stones which coalesced into one. They represented the twelve tribes [shevatim] — each of them unique and with its own separate mission — but all of them united in a single nation.
Sefer Shem Mishmuel (written by Rabbi Shmuel Bornstein, the Rebbe of Sochaczev and translated to English by Rabbi Zvi Belovski) cites a Midrash: Breish’t Rabbah 68:11 and provides commentary (pages 49-51) :
Rabbi Yehudah said: “He took twelve stones, as Hashem had decreed that he would establish twelve tribes. Yaakov said, ‘Avraham didn’t establish them. Yitzchak didn’t establish them. As for me, if the twelve stones become one, then I will know that I will establish twelve tribes.’ When the twelve stones became one, he knew that he would establish twelve tribes.”
The Torah… describes Klal Yisrael as a united entity — a perfect and complete national body.
Klal Yisrael comprises many different people, each with their own distinct personality. How, then, is this prized unity to be achieved and maintained? Each member of the nation must subjugate [verb (used with object) : to bring under complete control or subjection; conquer; master] his own needs and desires to those of Hashem. In this way alone can true unity be achieved, enabling the Klal to function as one organism with a single overall purpose.
The unification of the stones would indicate to [Yaakov] whether he, in contrast to his father and grandfather, would become the progenitor [noun: a biologically related ancestor] of Klal Yisrael. Unity… points to subjugation of the individual’s needs to that of the Klal. Yaakov knew that if the stones joined together, then this would symbolize that he would father the tribes — tzaddikim who could unify, without any division or alien intrusion, and form the basis of Klal Yisrael.
And so, the previously “quarreling stones” of Am Yisrael have unified in war, as a result of the unfathomable atrocities perpetrated upon our brethren by these sodomite wild beasts, these Nazi-like barbarians. May it be that when Israel emerges totally victorious, and when Hamas, Islamic Jihad, Hezbollah and their terrorist friends and sponsors are totally eradicated from amongst human-kind, that the unity of Am Yisrael remains. May we not revert back to quarreling and permitting politicians and foreign NGOs (non-governmental organizations) to foster and finance divisiveness among Am Yisrael in the hopes of destroying us from within.
May we, the B’nei Yisrael be zocha that our brethren — the refugee families from Gush Katif be permanently re-settled in Gush Katif, once the IDF, by the Yad Hashem, destructs and eradicates Hamas, Hezbollah, and if necessary Iran, and that our brethren be made totally whole — be totally restituted for all that was stolen from them, that the thrice expelled families of Amona be restored to their rebuilt homes and the oft-destroyed Yeshiva buildings in Homesh be rebuilt, as well as the buildings of Yishuv Elchanan, all at total government expense. Baruch Hashem that our dear brother Jonathan Pollard is in his third year at home in Eretz Yisrael and has embarked on a new chapter in his life. May Esther Yocheved bat Yechiel Avraham have an aliyah in Shemayim and may her spirit and memory continue to lift Jonathan to at least 120 years. May the MIAs be liberated alive and returned to us in ways befitting Al Kiddush Hashem — as with the return in April, 2019, via Russia, of the remains of Zachariah Baumel, as should the remains of the two chayalim from the Gaza War of nine 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 see, in 5784, the REAL Jews from the Ukraine and Russia make Aliyah enmass — via thorough review by Misrad HaPanim. And may we soon and finally see the total end to the Communist Chinese Wuhan Lab corona virus pandemic and all like viruses and variants. May we fulfill Hashem’s blueprint of B’nei 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!!!
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.