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Parsha Vayeitzei

There is much in the Parsha of Vayeitzei and I can't wait to show you all the wonderful things that have been said in this Parsha from Rashi, Ramban, Ba'al HaTurin, and Talmud. Let's begin where I always begin and start with Rashi on the Parsha to get the P'shat of this and move from there to more hidden meanings.

Rashi states on Va'yetzei "It need only have written and Jacob went to Haran. Why does it mention his departure? But it tells us that the departure of a righteous person from a place makes an impression, for at the time that a righteous person is in a city he is it's magnificence, he is it's splendor he is it's grandeur. Once he departs from there, it magnificence has gone away, it's splendor has gone away, it's grandeur has gone away." In this Moshiach Ben Yosef (Yeshua HaTzaddik ben Yosef) is similar for when he departs we have recorded of Yerushalem that the splendor, and glory, and magnificence of the Bais Mikdash itself had left. We find this in Yoma 39B that the three continual miracles that always occurred in the Bais Mikdash ceased to continue. See Here Yoma 39B

תנו רבנן אותה שנה שמת בה שמעון הצדיק אמר להם בשנה זו הוא מת אמרו לו מניין אתה יודע אמר להם בכל יום הכפורים היה מזדמן לי זקן אחד לבוש לבנים ועטוף לבנים נכנס עמי ויצא עמי והיום נזדמן לי זקן אחד לבוש שחורים ועטוף שחורים נכנס עמי ולא יצא עמי אחר


The Sages taught: During the year in which Shimon HaTzaddik died, he said to them, his associates: In this year, he will die, euphemistically referring to himself. They said to him: How do you know? He said to them: In previous years, on every Yom Kippur, upon entering the Holy of Holies, I was met, in a prophetic vision, by an old man who was dressed in white, and his head was wrapped up in white, and he would enter the Holy of Holies with me, and he would leave with me. But today, I was met by an old man who was dressed in black, and his head was wrapped up in black, and he enteredthe Holy of Holies with me, but he did not leave with me. He understood this to be a sign that his death was impending. Indeed, after the festival of Sukkot, he was ill for seven days and died.

ת"ר ארבעים שנה קודם חורבן הבית לא היה גורל עולה בימין ולא היה לשון של זהורית מלבין ולא היה נר מערבי דולק

והיו דלתות ההיכל נפתחות מאליהן עד שגער בהן רבן יוחנן בן זכאי אמר לו היכל היכל מפני מה אתה מבעית עצמך יודע אני בך שסופך עתיד ליחרב וכבר נתנבא עליך זכריה בן עדוא (זכריה יא, א) פתח לבנון דלתיך ותאכל אש בארזיך

The Sages taught: During the tenure of Shimon HaTzaddik, the lot for God always arose in the High Priest’s right hand; after his death, it occurred only occasionally; but during the forty years prior to the destruction of theSecond Temple, the lot for God did not arise in the High Priest’s right hand at all. So too, the strip of crimson wool that was tied to the head of the goat that was sent to Azazel did not turn white, and the westernmost lamp of the candelabrum did not burn continually. And the doors of the Sanctuary opened by themselves as a sign that they would soon be opened by enemies, until Rabban Yoḥanan ben Zakkai scolded them. He said to the Sanctuary: Sanctuary, Sanctuary, why do you frighten yourself with these signs? I know about you that you will ultimately be destroyed, and Zechariah, son of Ido, has already prophesied concerning you: “Open your doors, O Lebanon, that the fire may devour your cedars”(Zechariah 11:1), Lebanon being an appellation for the Temple."

We know that this was the time of Yeshua HaTzaddik who was the man who came with him into the Bais Hamikdash. We also see here, the Chasam Sofer states that on Ya’akov’s way to Har Moriah, he was robbed by “Eliphaz who was instructed by his father to pursue and kill Yaakov, took all his money instead". Most interpret this as Eliphaz’s attempt to spare Yaakov’s life while still fulfilling his father’s command. since a pauper is considered as good as dead.” This is found in the Talmud that “there are 5 counted as dead- one who is naked, one who is poor, one who is deaf, one who is mute, one who is drunk”. This also coincides with the ideas of Moshiach and further gives a hint as to Moshiach Ben Yosef’s entrance to Yerushalyim the city of Har Moriah, Zechariah 9:9 states “Moshiach will be an Oni and riding on a donkey” if the generation is unworthy. The same is true for Yaakov we see later of course he has 12 stones around his head, as Rashi brings out there “ The stones began to quarrel with one another. This one would say upon me shall the righteous one lay his head, and this one would say upon me shall he lay his head, the HKB”H immediately made them into one stone. This is why it says he took the stone that he placed around his head using the singular stone” We see in many places where Moshiach ben Yosef alludes to this by saying "that even the stones will cry out and testify of me", as well as often referring to himself and saying the birds of the air have nests, and the foxes have holes but Moshiach ben Yosef has no where to lay his head” It also is a great showing of the correlation of this to Moshiach ben Yosef in that we see the stones in a state of Sinas Chinam arguing over their place for reception of the holy one- both Yaakov Avinu and in a real sense the sages of Moshiach ben Yosef’s day. The Ba’al Haturin brings down a remez here where he finds the gematria of the phrase “Ascending and descending on it (428) is the same as the phrase Babylonia, and Media, and Greece and Rome. Throughout the Talmud and Midrash and based on the book of Daniel 8 Israel’s long series of exiles and persecutions are always treated as four main periods of subjugation.” Ya’akov Avinu is seen at the bottom and Hashem promising him that G-d will always be with him. Thus showing him not only secrets in the Passuk of Moshiach ben Yosef but also of the Guelah.

The Chasam Sofer brings down a Sod here for us to hold onto in this Parsha- “having received a sense of the bitter exile merely from the stark surroundings of Har Hamoriah, Yaakov now heard Hashem’s explanation for the significance of Beni Yisrael’s dispersal: “Your offspring will spread in every direction, not only to expiate their own sins but also to benefit all mankind. If the Jewish nation lives up to it’s historic mission, it will provide a splendid example to the world even if it is confined to a minuscule tract of land, like the one you are resting on now. On the other hand, if Israel does not fulfill it’s potential then it will have to accomplish it’s mission to influence mankind through the experience of exile. By being scattered to the four corners of the earth the Jewish people will leave an impact on all mankind.” See Rav Shaul here “Lest you be wise in your own sight, I do not want you to be unaware of this mystery, brothers: a partial hardening has come upon Israel, until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in. And in this way all Israel will be saved, as it is written,The Deliverer will come from Zion, he will banish ungodliness from Jacob”; and this will be my covenant with them when I take away their sin. As regards the gospel, they are enemies for your sake. But as regards election, they are beloved for the sake of their forefathers. For the gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable. For just as you were at one time disobedient to God but now have received mercy because of their disobedience, so they too have now been disobedient in order that by the mercy shown to you they also may now receive mercy. For God has consigned all to disobedience, that he may have mercy on all.”

A great gift given to the world and as Rav Shaul and Chasam Sofer agree the reason for the exile is to leave a lasting impact on the world. The Chasam Sofer continues “In the concluding phrase of v. 14 and all the families of the earth shall bless themselves by you and your offspring the word n’verchu is normally translated as shall be blessed. Perhaps it can also be understood as a derivation of the word Haricvah used to describe grafting a plant. Converts from many nations, although originally remote from the light of Torah will be grafted to Judaism through their exposure to exiled Jews as Chazal said (Pesachim 87b) the Jewish people were dispersed amongst the nations only in order to gather converts. This concept of exile a means of diffusing Torah throughout the world and increasing the ranks of believers in Hashem can be elucidated with the following analogy. A large luminary when it operates properly casts it’s light over a large area. When it’s light dims however, its area of diffusion shrinks. People from all over the world derive their light from candles, which in turn give their light to other candles, and so on. So too, when the Jewish nation was at it’s prime, on it’s own land, the light emanating from Eretz Israel illuminated the entire universe. But when our people’s sins caused the central spiritual light to dim, individual Jews (the candles in our analogy) had to spread out westward, eastward, northward, and southward in order for Torah’s light to reach every place that had formerly had been illuminated from the central source. While we are perform the mission of spreading Torah in the world and gathering converts, we are constantly in danger of being influenced by the ways of the nations or of suffering physical harm at their hands. Concerning such threats, Hashem reassured Yaakov Behold I am with you, to protect you from spiritual assimilation and I will guard you wherever you go (against physical harm as well). Then once your sacred mission of imbuing mankind with my ideals has been accomplished I will return you, in the messianic era to this soil”.

This is absolutely amazing in light of Rav Shaul’s comments here ”I ask, then, has God rejected his people? By no means! For I myself am an Israelite, a descendant of Abraham,[a] a member of the tribe of Benjamin. God has not rejected his people whom he foreknew. Do you not know what the Scripture says of Elijah, how he appeals to God against Israel? “Lord, they have killed your prophets, they have demolished your altars, and I alone am left, and they seek my life.” But what is God's reply to him? “I have kept for myself seven thousand men who have not bowed the knee to Baal.” So too at the present time there is a remnant, chosen by grace. But if it is by grace, it is no longer on the basis of works; otherwise grace would no longer be grace.What then? Israel failed to obtain what it was seeking. The elect obtained it, but the rest were hardened, as it is written,“God gave them a spirit of stupor, eyes that would not see and ears that would not hear, down to this very day.”And David says,“Let their table become a snare and a trap,a stumbling block and a retribution for them;let their eyes be darkened so that they cannot see,and bend their backs forever.” So I ask, did they stumble in order that they might fall? By no means! Rather, through their trespass salvation has come to the Gentiles, so as to make Israel jealous. Now if their trespass means riches for the world, and if their failure means riches for the Gentiles, how much more will their full inclusion[b] mean!Now I am speaking to you Gentiles. Inasmuch then as I am an apostle to the Gentiles, I magnify my ministry in order somehow to make my fellow Jews jealous, and thus save some of them. For if their rejection means the reconciliation of the world, what will their acceptance mean but life from the dead? If the dough offered as firstfruits is holy, so is the whole lump,and if the root is holy, so are the branches. But if some of the branches were broken off, and you, although a wild olive shoot, were grafted in among the others and now share in the nourishing root of the olive tree, do not be arrogant toward the branches. If you are, remember it is not you who support the root, but the root that supports you. Then you will say, “Branches were broken off so that I might be grafted in.” That is true. They were broken off because of their unbelief, but you stand fast through faith. So do not become proud, but fear. For if God did not spare the natural branches, neither will he spare you. Note then the kindness and the severity of God: severity toward those who have fallen, but God's kindness to you, provided you continue in his kindness. Otherwise you too will be cut off. And even they, if they do not continue in their unbelief, will be grafted in, for God has the power to graft them in again. For if you were cut from what is by nature a wild olive tree, and grafted, contrary to nature, into a cultivated olive tree, how much more will these, the natural branches, be grafted back into their own olive tree.”

The words of Chasam Sofer and Rav Shaul are nearly Identical. We hold here of course that Yeshua HaTzaddik HaMoshiach was also affirming us to spread Torah to the whole world, when he said “Do not think that I came to abolish the Torah or the Prophets! I did not come to abolish, but to fulfill. Amen, I tell you, until heaven and earth pass away, not the smallest letter or serif (crown of Torah) shall ever pass away from the Torah until all things come to pass. Therefore, whoever breaks one of the least of these commandments, and teaches others the same, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven. But whoever keeps and teaches them, this one shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.For I tell you that unless your righteousness exceeds that of the Pharisees and Torah scholars, you shall never enter the kingdom of heaven!” and he also encouraged us to spread this to all the world when he said “ Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, immersing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Ruach ha-Kodesh, teaching them to observe all I have commanded you. And remember! I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”

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