The True Journeyman by Willie Roth


This week’s Parsha starts off with the Torah telling us, “Vayetzei Yaakov Mibe’er Sheva Vayelech Charana.”  Yaakov left his home in Be’er Sehva and went to Charan where Lavan lived.  Rashi asks why it was necessary for the Torah to not only to mention that Yaakov left Be’er Sheva, but that he went to Charan as well?  Wouldn’t it have been enough for the Torah simply say that Yaakov went to Charan?  Rashi answers that when a Tzadik leaves a town it leaves an impression upon that places as he is its pride and joy, and now he is taking that pride away from it.  Therefore, when Yaakov left for Charan, he want not only going somewhere else, he was also leaving Be’er Sheva and taking his Tzidkut with him.

The Bais Halevi points out that when a person travels to another place it is for one of two reasons.  Either he finds something wrong with his present location and wants to go to a better place, or because he has to go to a specific location.  However, Yaakov left for both reasons.  First, he had to leave Be’er Sheva because of the threat that Esav posed and he had to go to Charan because his father did not want him to marry from the Bnot Canaan.  Consequently, the Torah uses this dual language.

Because Yaakov was not simply going to Charan, but leaving Be’er Sheva as well, and vice versa, he needed a place that would help him in this transition of lifestyles.  Yaakov was fortunate enough two receive two such opportunities.  First, he learned in the Yeshiva of Shem and Ever for 14 years in order to prepare mentally and spiritually for the outside world which he was not accustomed too, especially the rather tough situation he would find himself in while living with Lavan.  However, Yaakov also had to be prepared physically for the new world he would encounter.  Therefore, he slept that night on his journey at which point a new set of Malachim came down from Shamayim to protect him.  Yet, while he was receiving this physical protection, Hashem also reassured him that he would receive the blessing of Avraham and Yitzchak that his children would take over Eretz Yisrael and that Hashem would watch over him.  Now, Yaakov was prepared spiritually, physically, and emotionally to leave his parents’ home and step into the surrounding society.

It is interesting to note that out of all places where Yaakov could have received this preparation, Har Habayit was the designated location.  There is no other place in the world where a Jew can feel a greater sense of security and connection to Hashem.  Hopefully, we will be able to feel that same sense of security that Yaakov felt.

Eliphaz’s Problem by Sam Reinstein

Tidbits of Veyetzei by Mr. Arthur Poleyeff