Thursday, December 11, 2014

Thursday's Parsha Tidbits - Parshas Vayeshev

The following is a brief summary of some of the thoughts said over by R' Frand on the parsha this evening. I have attempted to reproduce these vorts 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.

In Bereishis 37:31-36, the Torah recounts the story of the brothers showing Yaakov the coat dipped in goat's blood and Yaakov's reaction to seeing the coat. The Torah writes that Yaakov went into mourning and was inconsolable. Seeing this, Yaakov's sons and daughters attempted to comfort Yaakov, but were unsuccessful.

R' Frand quoted the Ohr HaChaim HaKadosh who asked - why was Yaakov not capable of being consoled? This is understandable if a man has only one child or very few children. But Yaakov had many children! 

The Ohr HaChaim HaKadosh notes that the Torah does not recount what the children did to try to comfort Yaakov.  Instead, the Torah writes that all of Yaakov's sons and daughters and his grandchildren came to console him. The thinking was that this gathering would console Yaakov because he would see all the children and grandchildren coming to see him. However, this did not console Yaakov as Yosef was irreplaceable to him.

R' Frand made reference to a story told by R' Oelbaum about this very vort of the Ohr HaChaim HaKadosh. There was a Rabbi in Israel who told this vort before Maariv on a Friday Night. The Rabbi explained that the same way that Yaakov could not be consoled, Hashem feels the same way. Hashem sees all the Jews who are learning Torah and keeping the mitzvos. However, Hashem also sees all of the Jews who have left the faith and are not keeping the mitzvos and Hashem cries for them.

When the Rabbi finished the vort, he was approached by a man who had come to shul that night for yahrtzeit. The man was not frum and the Rabbi had occasionally tried to draw him in, but with no success. This night, the man approached the Rabbi and said - do you think Hashem cries for me? The Rabbi replied - absolutely! Hashem is a father much like Yaakov and he cries when he sees that his children have gone astray.

As a result of this conversation, the man began to keep mitzvos and he is now a frum Jew.

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