Jacob

Vayechi: The Inconsistent Truth

"And they said, should they make our sister like a harlot?" (Breisheet 34:31). So ends round one of the debate between Yaakov on one side, and Shimon and Levi on the other, over the killing of the people of Shechem for the rape of Dinah. The Torah moves on to record Yaakov's return to Beit El as the family enters a new phase in their travels. It is on Yaakov's deathbed that we hear his response: "Shimon and Levi, the tools of violence are in their hands...in their anger they killed men" (Breisheet 49:5-6).

Toldot: All My Children

It is hard to imagine a more disparate couple than Yitzchak and Rivka, the quiet contemplative husband who would "meditate in the fields" (24:63), and the worldly, independent-thinking wife who “ran again to the well” (Breisheet 20:24). Yitzchak spent his entire life in the land of Israel, never traveling the world. He was, as our Sages describe him, "a pure offering", ready to sacrifice himself to G-d. He could see no evil in others, and thus could be easily fooled by both Eisav and Yaakov.

Toldot: And He Grew Up

"Vayigdal Haish, and the man grew up and grew more and more, until he became very big" (Breisheet 26:13). At first glance, this is a very strange verse. The Torah has just described Yitzchak's and Rivka's move to Gerrar (Yitzchak's place of birth[1]) and the great wealth he acquired there. This move occurred after Eisav's sale of the birthright to Yaakov--an event that happened many years after the Torah, using the same terminology, tells us "vayigdelu hane'arim, and the young men grew up" (25:27).

Vayishlach: Jacob, the Lonely Man of Faith

Avraham Avinu is known as "ha'Ivri" as the world was on one side, and he was alone on the other. It is not easy challenging the ideas of society around you - and G-d understood that to be successful, Abraham would have to leave home and travel to a foreign land. While Abraham had to start anew, away from most of his family, he was not lonely. He had a loving wife, seemed to make friends easily, and was heavily involved with political leaders around the world like Pharaoh, Avimelech, and the 9 kings at war.

Vayetze: Searching for G-d

Yaakov is fleeing his home, afraid that his brother will try to kill him. Night is coming, and presumably he has been running all day. He is tired and quickly falls asleep—even with a rock as his pillow. But what a “dream” he had! “And Jacob awoke from his sleep and he said: Behold, there is G-d in this place, and I did not know that” (28:16). What exactly was Yaakov thinking? Did he really think that G-d only exists in certain places? Did he not know, as we all do, that the “earth is filled with His glory”?

Toldot: Blind Love

How sad when parents do not understand their children, and are unaware of what they’re up to. Either through purposeful ignorance or just plain being clueless, it is not uncommon for parents to be unaware that their children are drinking, on drugs, or engaged in illicit sexual activity. Even great parenting and great efforts cannot ensure that we are fully aware of our children’s whereabouts at all times.

Pages

Subscribe to RSS - Jacob