Pearls of Rashi – Parshas Vayeitzei I

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This week’s Parshah, Vayeitzei, begins by telling us that[1] “And Yaakov left Be’er Sheva, and he went to Choron.”

Rashi cites the words from the verse, “And Yaakov left,” and comments that, “The Torah had only to write, ‘And Yaakov went to Choron.’ Why did it mention his departure? But this tells us that the righteous man’s departure from a place makes an impression. As long as the pious man is in the city, he is its beauty, he is its splendor, and he is its majesty. When he departs from there, its beauty has departed, its splendor has left, and its magnificence has departed…”

The holy Ohr Hachaim offers a deeper explanation of this verse[2]. We find that the words “Yaakov left Be’er Sheva, and he went to Choron” can be explained in a more in-depth manner. It is a reference to the descent of the soul into the body. Spiritually, Be’er Sheva refers to the source of the soul. In spiritual terms, Choron refers to this world. It is only by way of descending to this physical and material world that the soul can reach the most incredible heights.

Rashi is teaching us an additional lesson. “The Torah had only to write, ‘And Yaakov went to Choron.'” All that is necessary for the Torah to tell us is that the soul descends to this world. Here the soul faces all sorts of obstacles to serving G-d, Whose presence is concealed. Yet the soul overcomes these obstacles and elevates this world, transforming it into a dwelling place for the Almighty. “Why did it mention his departure?” The entire point would seem to be that the soul is in this world! Rashi answers this question by telling us that “this tells us that the departure of a righteous man from a place makes an impression. As long as the righteous man is in the city, he is its beauty, he is its splendor, and he is its majesty.” The world of souls makes an impression upon the soul. It feels Hashem’s beauty, splendor, and majesty. The fact that despite basking in the light of Hashem, the soul’s descent into this world is absolute self-sacrifice. All souls will return to the place where they belong. Because of this, we will undoubtedly merit Moshiach, now!

Have a great week and a wonderful Shabbos!

Rabbi Shmuel Mendelsohn

Adapted from Likkutei Sichos Volume 35, p. 119 ff.

DEDICATED IN HONOR OF THE LUBAVITCHER REBBE
מוקדש לזכות כ”ק אדמו”ר נשיא דורנו מליובאוויטש

IN HONOR OF
The Soldiers of Tzivos Hashem Chaim and Aiden Oded שיחיו Morris
DEDICATED BY THEIR PARENTS
Rabbi & Mrs. Menachem M. and Chaya Mushka שיחיו Morris

לזכות
חיילי “צבאות השם” חיים ועדן עודד שיחיו מאריס
נדפס ע”י הוריהם
הרה”ת ר’ מנחם מענדל וזוגתו מרת חי’ מושקא שיחיו מאריס


[1]. Our Parshah, Bereishis 28:10.

[2]. Our Parshah, Bereishis 28:14.

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