Illuminations #138, Kislev 5778, Parshat Vayeitzei

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Illuminations #138, Kislev 5778, Parshat Vayeitzei

Torah Gems

When Yaakov Avinu came to Charan, he realized he had passed Har HaMoriah (the place where the Akeida was and where the Beis Hamikdash would stand) and had not taken the opportunity to daven there. Upon realizing this, Yaakov Avinu immediately decided to travel back to this holy place. Hashem then made a neis. The earth contracted and he arrived at Har HaMoriah quickly. Why did Hashem allow him to pass and not remember to stop?

Rav Wolbe provides an answer, a valuable life-lesson. A person is free to do as he wishes in this world. Hashem will not stop you from doing what you want. Just because life seems smooth does not mean that Hashem approves. A person himself has to desire growth and will then receive the Heavanly Assistance to develop into the most accomplished Jew that he can be.  As we say in Yuma 38b, “ One who comes to purify [himself] is granted Divine Assistance.” One need not jump. He can take small steps, pushing a little further each time. This is why Hashem did not stop Yaakov Avinu. Until Yaakov Avinu decided that he needed to daven at Har HaMoriah, Hashem let him do what he wanted. Only when Yaakov Avinu made up his mind did Hashem take him the rest of the way. The reality is that the way a person is at the end of his life spiritually shows the true desire he had inside himself throughout his life.

Parsha Pearls

When Rachel Imeinu saw that she was not having children, she pleaded from Yaakov Avinu to give her children. Although Yaakov Avinu did daven for her, the Ramban explains that Yaakov Avinu felt that it was Hashem that was withholding children from her. The Ramban continues that when Rachel Imeinu saw that she could not rely on her husband’s prayers, she realized that the only option would be for her to daven for herself.

Many times, when a person goes through a difficult experience, he turns to a big Rabbi for a blessing. This is a good thing! At the same time, a person must realize that the prayer from the person who is suffering is the most effective! Rachel Imeinu prayed very hard and Hashem opened her womb. The heartfelt prayers from a broken heart may pierce the Heavens and allow the salvation to come.  A reason for this may be that a person must realize that only Hashem can help him in a time of need. When a person recognizes his Creator, The Creator wants to help him.

Glimpses of Greatness

Once Rabbi Chaim Shmuelevitz was delivering a shiur in Yeshivas Mir. He stated that Yaakov Avinu didn’t sleep for fourteen years while learning in Yeshivas Shem V’Eiver. Many think that this is not to be taken literally.  Rabbi Chaim said that although the gemara in Nedarim says that a person can not go more than three days without sleep, when a person has a very strong desire, he can do unbelievable things. For example, a person may lift a car to save his child. Rabbi Yitzchak Berkovits noted that Rabbi Nosson Tzvi Finkel, who grew up as regular boy in Chicago, took this lesson to heart and became the great Rosh Yeshiva of the Mir!

Halacha Weekly

Q. Can one weave the figure of a person on a fabric? [1-5-192]

A. From the verse, “Lo taasun iti, Do  not make with me gods of silver and gold, “ (Shemot-20-20) we find there is a prohibition of making the form in the likeness of a person if it protrudes. Raavad [1-5-HIL AZ 3:1-11) writes we must distinguish between the form of a man and the form of the attendants  that minister in Heaven.  The form of the attendants are forbidden even if they are flat (not protruding) or lower than the surface. The form of a man is forbidden if it protrudes; if it does not protrude is permitted.

Aperkasta Daniyah (Yoreh Deah 151, R. Naftali Hakohen Schwarz, Z”L ) writes regarding a figure made by weavers of curtains who make the figure of the face and body of a man, that this depends on how it is constructed: If the figure does not protrude and is not lower than the surface of the curtain (recessed), a Jewish craftsman still must be concerned to start the weaving from the outside (not from the form of the man).  That is to say, first he sets the weaving from around the form of the man, then as he arrives to make the form already, it does not protrude or is not lower than the rest of the garment.  In this way there is room to argue for merit and leniency. In any event, one who fears G-d should avoid it entirely.  However, it is not possible to argue leniency in the case that he starts from the center of the fabric. If he completes the form, and afterwards weaves what is around it at the same time he completes the form of the man, such that it would be lower or higher than the surrounding, this would  transgress the prohibition.


Refuah Shlaima 

to Messodie bat Mamou

From the Knafo Family