Thursday, December 1, 2011

Thursday's Parsha Tidbits - Parshas Vayeitzei

The following is a brief summary of a thought said over by R' Frand on the parsha this evening. I have attempted to reproduce this vort to the best of my ability. Any perceived inconsistency is the result of my efforts to transcribe the shiur and should not be attributed to R' Frand.

This week's parsha begins with a summary of Yaakov's travels. The Torah recounts that Yaakov left Be'er Sheva and went to Charan. However, not long after Yaakov gets to Charan, he turns around and travels back to Yerushalayim. The Medrash explains that Hashem did a chessed for Yaakov and folded up the land so that he could expeditiously return from Charan to Yerushalayim.

R' Frand quoted the sefer Machat Shel Yad (R' Frankel) which asks - why did Yaakov get all the way to Charan before he remembered that he had passed Yerushalayim without davening there? The distance between Beer Sheva and Yerushalayim is quite short, whereas the distance from Yerushalayim to Charan is many hundreds of miles. Why did he wait until he got to Charan before he suddenly remembered he had passed Yerushalayim.

Before answering the question, R' Frand quoted R' Kaminetsky to further expand on the vort. We know that after Yaakov left Beer Sheva he did not go straight to Charan. Instead, Yaakov spent 14 years learning in Yeshivas Shem V'Ever. But why did Yaakov need to go learn there? He had spent 15 years learning by Avraham and then another 45 years learning from Yitzchak. What was he missing in his education that he needed to learn at the Yeshiva Shem V'Ever?

R' Kaminetsky answered that there was something that Yaakov needed to learn in the yeshiva. Shem was a product of the Dor Hamabul while Ever was a product of the Dor Haflaga. Despite their toxic surroundings, Shem and Ever were able to stay true to their learning.

When Yaakov was learning by Avraham and Yitzchak, he was learning in a pristine environment. The Beis Medrash and the people there were not distractions and Yaakov was able to learn without distraction.

However, Yaakov was aware that the land of Charan was anything but stable and pleasant. Therefore, Yaakov wanted to learn in the Yeshiva of Shem V'Ever so that he could withstand the populace in Charan.

R' Frand then quoted a Rashi on next week's parsha which discussed the Torah taught by Yaakov to Yosef. Rashi explains that the Ben Zekunim present was the Torah that Yaakov learned in Yeshiva Shem V'Ever. Yaakov knew through ruach HaKodesh that Yosef would be in a dangerous environment. Yaakov did not know the details, but he was concerned, so he taught Yosef what he learned in the Yeshiva.

But returning to the original question - why did Yaakov go back to Yerushalayim. R' Frand answered by giving a mashal about a man who lives in the sticks and wants to visit NY City. The man studies and prepares for the trip, but when he gets off in Times Square he is assaulted by all the noise and lights and bustle.

When Yaakov got to Charan he was overwhelmed. He had learned in the Yeshiva, but was still very concerned that he would be unable to resist the insanity of Charan. At that point, Yaakov said to himself - I need more than Shem V'Ever. I need the tefillos where my fathers davened. It was for this reason that he went back to Yerushalayim.

If you have seen this post being carried on another site, please feel free to click to find other articles on the kosherbeers blogsite. Hey its free and you can push my counter numbers up!

No comments: