Indiscriminate Care by Dani Yaros


In Parshat Vayetzei, the Torah describes (29:11) how Yaakov saw Rachel, kissed her, and then proceeded to cry.  Rashi poses a very obvious question: what prompted Yaakov to cry?  He was meeting his future wife; he should have been overjoyed!  One explanation that Rashi gives is that Yaakov had no money, and he knew that without money it would be very difficult to convince Lavan to let him marry Rachel.

To explain how Yaakov reached that state, Rashi tells the well-known story of Eisav’s son Eliphaz, who, at his father’s command, chased after Yaakov to kill him.  However, upon reaching Yaakov, Eliphaz felt emotionally unable to kill his uncle, so he asked Yaakov what he could respond when Eisav would ask, “Did you kill Yaakov?”  Yaakov suggested that Eliphaz take all of his valuables, which would enable him to tell Eisav, “I killed Yaakov and here are his belongings.”  Furthermore, it would be like he had actually killed Yaakov, because a poor person is (in some ways) considered as though he were dead.  Through this act of Chesed that Yaakov did, Eliphaz avoided being punished by Eisav.

From this story we understand the love and care that Yaakov showed to all human beings, whether or not he had reason to like them (after all, Eisav, Eliphaz’s father, did want to kill Yaakov).  We must learn from Yaakov to love every person whether or not he or she is worthy of this care.  We must treat every person with dignity and respect regardless of personal merit.


Fighting Like a Man by Rabbi Ezra Weiner

Portions Beyond Proportions by Avi Wollman