Sunday, December 14, 2008

Q & A on Parshas Vayishlach


1)G-D has related that the Jews will be like the stars, the sand, and the dust. Why does Yaakov choose the symbolism of the Jews as sand when praying to G-D prior to his encounter with Eisav? (32:13)

2)The Torah teaches that since Yaakov was injured in his thigh, THEREFORE Jews should not eat the GID HANASHE. (32:33) Why should we refrain from eating this part of an animal simply because Yaakov was injured? What message or lesson can this possibly convey?


3)Why does the Torah bother relating that the city was named SUKKOT because Yaakov built booths (SUKKOT) for his animals? The name, itself, seems meaningless and it certainly seems to be lacking any eternal message!


ANSWERS
1)The Kli Yakar teaches that the symbolism of the stars captures the times in history when the Jews are the dominant force in the world. The dust captures when we are suffering immense persecution and dark exile. The sand refers to those times when we are being persecuted but where G-D steps in and provides salvation. The ocean water threatens to wash away the sand but then recedes with the tide. Since Yaakov is about to face Eisav which presents a danger to him and his family, he evokes this image of the sand, with the hope that G-D will save them from this time of difficulty.


2)The Da'at Zakainim MiBaalei HaTosafot explain that Yaakov was left open to the attack because he was left alone. The Jewish people were negligent and left someone unaccompanied and this resulted in the injury. Thus, we refrain from eating that part of the body to remind us of the importance of the mitzvah of not leaving people unaccompanied.


3)The Ohr HaChayim answers that at this time and place, Yaakov became the first person in world history to build shelter for his animals to provide them with comfort. This extra level of care and concern was worthy of being captured in the name of the city and it certainly teaches us a lesson about the importance of caring for all living thing.

* Courtesy of Rabbi Dov Lipman Shlit"a

2 comments:

AlanLaz said...

Any chance you can post this stuff BEFORE Shabbos? It's great stuff, but aside from just having the knowledge for myself, I can't use the material for another year.

Ibn Mordechai said...

My apologies Rabbi Laz.

Bli Neder, I will try to the best of my ability to have something posted before Shabbos each week.

Thank you for your continued interest!

You are Sorely Missed!

You are Sorely Missed!