PARSHAT Vayeitzei – 5784
In this inspiring journey through the life of Jacob, we uncover the significance of his spiritual preparation for engaging with the material world. Let’s delve into the depths of this intriguing transition and learn how prayer, study, and a robust spiritual foundation can support us on our own life journey
A good preparation for your daily life journey
The day arrived when Jacob, after an extended stay in Beersheba, made his descent to Charan, the home of his future father-in-law, Laban. Charan, known for its less spiritual and more materialistic environment, presented Jacob with challenges that prompted him to prepare spiritually. To achieve this, he returned to the Yeshiva of Eber, where he had previously studied alongside Shem, his father who had already passed away at this time. The Yeshiva of Shem and Eber played a pivotal role in the lives of the Patriarchs, as mentioned in various Midrashic events.
This return to spiritual roots proved essential for Jacob, similar to the pivotal role the Yeshiva played in significant events involving Abraham, Isaac, and other key figures. For instance, the identification of Shem as Malki-Tsedek, the priest who blessed Abraham, showcased the intertwining of spiritual figures in the lives of the Patriarchs.
The Yeshiva of Shem and Eber was a place of Divine guidance, as seen in the episode of Rebecca’s challenging pregnancy. Seeking insight, she went to inquire of the L-rd, and the Midrash reveals that she visited the beit midrash of Shem and Eber. Additionally, conversations between Sarah, Hagar, and God were mediated through Shem, reinforcing the Yeshiva’s role as a spiritual hub.
Shem and Eber were not just intermediaries but figures of justice. Esau, feared killing Jacob because he knew Shem and Eber would judge him for this sin. This interconnectedness of spiritual guidance and justice emphasized the profound influence the Yeshiva had on the lives of the Patriarchs.
As Jacob set out for Charan, he realized he had passed Mount Moriah without praying, perceiving it as an inadvertent affront to his forebears. To rectify this, he retraced his steps toward Mount Moriah. G-d, in His miraculous intervention, spared Jacob the arduous journey by relocating Mount Moriah to Bethel, where Jacob had a significant dream of a ladder connecting heaven and earth.
From this intricate narrative, valuable lessons emerge for Noahides. Jacob’s practice of bedtime prayer underscores the importance of concluding each day in communion with G-d, reflecting on the day’s events and seeking Divine guidance for the next.
The approach of studying thoroughly before engaging with the world is vital for Noahides. Jacob’s return to the Yeshiva before venturing into Charan serves as a model for those transitioning to a new lifestyle. It emphasizes the significance of spiritual preparation before facing the challenges of a different environment.
Furthermore, the recommendation of (morning) prayer5 and Torah study before commencing the day is emphasized. Just as Jacob prayed and studied every morning and night, Noahides are encouraged to seek spiritual sustenance before navigating the complexities of the material world.
In essence, Jacob’s journey, intertwined with the Yeshiva of Shem and Eber, symbolizes the delicate balance between spirituality and the material world. It serves as a guiding narrative for Noahides, emphasizing the importance of spiritual grounding, diligent study, and consistent prayer in navigating life’s diverse challenges.
As we conclude our exploration into Jacob’s profound spiritual preparation, we recognize the timeless wisdom it offers. By embracing prayer, diligent study, and a strong spiritual foundation, we discover the keys to navigate the complexities of the material world. Jacob’s journey becomes a guiding light, illuminating the path toward a harmonious balance between the spiritual and the material in our own lives.
By Angelique Sijbolts
 LEVITICUS 23:24 – MORNING AND EVENING PRAYER – ROSH HASHANAH EVERY DAY
 Read a portion of Torah or “Daily Wisdom” from the Lubavitcher Rebbe or a segment of “Day by Day” by Rabbi Nachman before starting the day. This helps to spiritually energize ourselves before entering the material world to fulfill our tasks.
Chabad: Kehot Chumash Vayetzei
With thanks to B. Yaniger for the inspiration
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