Divrei HaRav

Vayetzei / ויצא

Vayetzei / ויצא
"Im yehiye Elokim imadi". If Elokim will be with me. All the meforshim ask why he required this condition if it said already Hashem was standing near him. The answer could be that Hashem is the Name of mercy and pity whereas Elokim is the Name of judgment without mercy. If so, then Yaakov was already promised by Hashem that he would be granted mercy. Yaakov, however, desired to be assured of the rewards of Hashem also with midas hadin, that he should deserve it even with the letter of the law. This is why he ended with the words "I will separate the maaser for Hashem" because in the merit of maaser one can almost 'demand' a reward. (Imrei Shefer)

And Yaakov loved Rochel also from (more than) Leah. The word "also" seems to be unnecessary in the context of the possuk. Perhaps, first Yaakov loved Rochel because of her beauty. After the episode with Leah when Rochel assisted her sister and showed great "mesiras nefesh" for her, Yaakov loved her more which was in addition to before "also" (he loved her) from (what she did for) Leah.

Yaakov Avinu said “this is the house of HaShem and this is the gateway to shomayim”. The Gerrer Rebbi ‘z’l at the dedication of Yeshivas Chachmei Lublin of the tzadik R’ Meir Shapiro ‘z’l explained this possuk. The gemora defines “fear of G-d” – yiras shamayim – as the main room or hall, whereas the study of torah is the anteroom or gateway. Yaakov sensed and felt the genuine yiras shamayim in this place and proclaimed “this is Bais Elokim” and this, the last fourteen years he spent learning Torah, was the gateway. He then proceeded to wish and hope that the yeshiva should encompass both torah and yiras shomayim. (Pardes Yosef)

Yaakov Avinu arrives as a stranger in a strange land and when he sees the shepards gathered, he reprimands them for coming so early. The obvious question to be asked is what right does he, a stranger, have to give “mussar”? The answer can be found in the reason and the method. First, Yaakov was totally honest and ethical in all his dealings as is evident from later in the parsha. Secondly, he prefaced his words with a very important introduction. He called them “my brothers”. He convinced them of his sincerity and his pure motive. Only then did he proceed to reason with them. (M’Shulchan Gevoah)

An interesting question would be, “why did HaShem not protect Dina from Shechem (in parshas vayishlach) as He had done previously with Sarah and Rivka, with Paroah and Avimelech? The Chasam Sofer explains this with this weeks parsha. The posuk reads that HaShem was standing by the ladder. However when Yaakov prayed for future assistance, he said “if Elokim will be with me”. The meforshim wonder why Yaakov said “if” which indicates his uncertainty as to the Divine help. The answer is that a tzadik does not wish to “bother” HaShem with requests for miracles – he would rather live in a natural world. Elokim is the name implying the way of nature. Hence, Yaakov was not sure what form the heavenly help would take, HaShem or Elokim. HaShem granted his wish and Dina was saved by a “natural” miracle, without the need to tamper with nature as happens with outright miracles.

“And HaShem remembered Rochel and heard her prayers”. In this one possuk we find the ingredients for success in our endeavors. HaShem remembered Rochel. Rashi comments that He remembered the devotion that she displayed for her sister Leah, the special merit she had. The Sforno comments He remembered her efforts to have children, by giving her maid servants, and with the “dudaim”. However, even with all of this, HaShem needed to hear her prayers. This is the comment of the Or HaChaim. The three ingredients would be: a) merits and deeds b) effort, “hishtadlus” c) davening.



Previous Parshos

Tazria Metzora Achrei Mos Kedoshim Emor Behar Bechukosai Bamidbar Shavuos Naso Behalosicha Shilach Korach Chukas-Balak Pinchos Matos-Masei Devorim Voeschonon Ekev Reah Shoftim Ki Seitzei Ki Savo Nitzovim - Vayelech Rosh HaShana Haazinu-Yom Kippur Sukkos V'zos HaBrocha Breishis