This week’s Parshah is full of family stories, deceit and internal Torah connections. Michael Hattin is making some great comments juxtaposing the story of Yaakov with the story of the Jews’ exodus from Egypt. Do listen to his view on these connections based on the use of verbs, mostly, in both parashot.
We see Yaakov running away from his home, and falling asleep somewhere. At this point, as Alice would say, things became “Curiouser and curiouser!”
טז וַיִּיקַץ יַעֲקֹב, מִשְּׁנָתוֹ, וַיֹּאמֶר, אָכֵן יֵשׁ יְהוָה בַּמָּקוֹם הַזֶּה; וְאָנֹכִי, לֹא יָדָעְתִּי.
|16 And Jacob awaked out of his sleep, and he said: ‘Surely the LORD is in this place; and I knew it not.’|
יט וַיִּקְרָא אֶת-שֵׁם-הַמָּקוֹם הַהוּא, בֵּית-אֵל; וְאוּלָם לוּז שֵׁם-הָעִיר, לָרִאשֹׁנָה.
|19 And he called the name of that place Beth-el, but the name of the city was Luz at the first.|
Can this be true?
Was this Gd showing things to me?
A scary place, mysterious, Beit El – house of the Lord.
Next, we see Yaakov at the well. All interesting things happen close to or in the water.
Water is compared to Torah itself – מים חיים (living waters) by our sages. Is this the reason why all momentous exchanges of our ancestors took place by the well?
ט עוֹדֶנּוּ, מְדַבֵּר עִמָּם; וְרָחֵל בָּאָה, עִם-הַצֹּאן אֲשֶׁר לְאָבִיהָ–כִּי רֹעָה, הִוא.
|9 While he was yet speaking with them, Rachel came with her father’s sheep; for she tended them.|
|10 And it came to pass, when Jacob saw Rachel the daughter of Laban his mother’s brother, and the sheep of Laban his mother’s brother, that Jacob went near, and rolled the stone from the well’s mouth, and watered the flock of Laban his mother’s brother.|
|11 And Jacob kissed Rachel, and lifted up his voice, and wept.|
What was he weeping for? The sense of family lost or found? The view of a girl so beautiful that he immediately fell in love?
This love. When your eyes are following me. Always.
This love. When you singing me praises non-stop.
This love. When your last words to me are yet ringing.
This love. I am lucky to ‘ve had it. I cherish it still.
ויעבד יעקב ברחל שבע שנים ויהיו בעיניו כימים אחדים באהבתו אתה And Yaakov worked seven years for Rachel and they seemed to him like a few days because of his love for her (Bereishit 29:20)
Apparently, the numerical value of the word “Rachel” is in fact 238, the same as the words, “Vayehi ohr – וַיְהִי-אוֹר,” and there was light. (Torah Anytime)
Yaakov is, basically, forced to marry four women instead of one. Meanwhile, love is very exclusive. Yes, it can fade away, but while you are in the moment of love you cannot think of another. Clearly, the fact that Leah delivered so many children made Yaakov attached to her. But real love has nothing to do even with children. It’s a kind of cosmic connection. Many sages have talked about this finally prohibiting polygamy for the Jewish people. I can only think about the fate of these women, loved and not, of their struggles and pains.
Timely for this parshah:
The ancient breed of sheep, the type that Yaakov looked after while working for his wives at Laban’s house, that no longer existed in Israel, was returned to its homeland from Canada, of all places! As the founder of this amazing project, Jenna Lewinsky said “Jews have been wandering for 2,000 years, and the sheep have a similar story, from Canaan to Canada today. It’s a full journey.”
Little creatures ble-e-e-eing their way
Back home. Just like people
Looking for the land of destiny
As an interesting follow-up:
Someone posted on Facebook that last year during this parshah that literally means “and went out” Jonathan Pollard came out of jail 8 Kislev 5776, which was 20 November 2015. One of the “strange” coincidences, where Torah and life go hand in hand.