Monday, December 1, 2008

Doreish Tov on Medrash Rabbah Parashas Vayeitzei 5769 (1)

Doreish Tov on Medrash Rabbah
Parashas Vayeitzei 5769


The Medrash

The Medrash states that it is said (Bereishis 28:10) vayeitzei Yaakov miBeer Sheva vayeilech Charanah, Yaakov departed from Beer-Sheva and went toward Charan. Rabbi Pinchas in the name of Rabbi Huna bar Pappa commenced with the following verse that states (Mishlei 3:23) az teilech lavetach darkecho… im tishkav lo sifchad, then you will walk on your way securely… when you will lie down you will not fear. The words az teilech lavetach refer to Yaakov as it is said vayeitzei Yaakov. The words … im tishkav lo sifchad refer to Yaakov not fearing from Esav and Lavan. The words vishachavta viaravta shinosecho, you will lie down and your sleep will be pleasant, refers to that what is said (Bereishis 28:11) vayishkav bamakom hahu, and he lay down in that place.

Question on the Medrash

This Medrash appears to be perplexing. Yaakov has just begun to run away from Esav and he will soon encounter the scheming Lavan. Yaakov’s troubles will not end there, however, as the Medrash (Bereishis Rabbah 84:3) later states that Yaakov did not find peace from Esav, tranquility from Lavan nor did he find rest from Dinah, and then came the torment of Yosef. How, then, could the Medrash state that Yaakov did not have to fear from Esav and Lavan?

The deeper intention of the Medrash

It would appear that the Medrash is teaching that the summary of Yaakov’s life was one of turmoil and grief. Yet, at the onset of his travels, Yaakov merited a great revelation in the dream of the ladder. The Medrash (Ibid) states that the righteous seek to dwell in tranquility in this world and the Satan says, “is it not sufficient for the righteous what is prepared for them in the World to Come? They also seek to dwell in tranquility in this world?” Here, however, HaShem allowed Yaakov to dwell in temporary tranquility, so that he could experience this great revelation.

The lesson of the Medrash

It is noteworthy that in the dream that Yaakov has, the Medrash (Vayikra Rabbah 29:2) states that Yaakov saw the angel of Edom ascending and he was concerned that the angel would never descend. HaShem informed Yaakov that even the angel of Edom would have a downfall. Thus, HaShem was demonstrating to Yaakov that by having faith in the beginning of the journey, he would ultimately have nothing to fear from Esav and his descendants. These Medrashim teach us the importance of faith in HaShem. When we commence on a mission we must realize that there will be obstacles, but our initial faith in HaShem will carry us through to experience success.

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