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12/09/2022 01:55:31 PM


In honour of the berit this past Tuesday of Akiva Simcha Tzur, son of my granddaughter Rosy and her husband Elchanan, grandson of my son Yehoshua and his wife Racheli, BH.

In this week's parasha, we read how Yaakov Avinu returned to his family in the Land of Canaan, after many difficult years of hard labour and deception from his relative Lavan.

But the return trip wasn't easy.  Yakov was afraid that Eisav would kill him (as he had threatened to do many years before.) 

After solving that problem (via presents, prayer, and military strategy,) when Yaakov was alone, he is mugged by a man, who was fighting with him all night.  (Well, we know that the "man" was an angel, but Yaakov didn't know that until the end.)

Then he had the problem with his daughter Dina, who (according to Rashi) didn't like to stay home, and got herself into trouble. Dinah was raped by a man named Shechem 

The response of his sons Shimon and Levi was way too aggressive for Yaakov's likes, and he was afraid that the inhabitants of the Land would retaliate by wiping him out. 

Then we read of the death of the love of his life, Rachel, whom he could not even bury in the family plot.

All of the above "tsoros" in just one parasha!

If that wasn't enough tsoros for Yaakov, we shall soon read how his beloved son Yosef was sold by his own brothers into slavery: with Yaakov having been told that Yosef had been devoured by a wild beast. 

So we can certainly understand, that when, later on, Yaakov is introduced to Pharoah, Yaakov says that he has had a bad life ("me`at ve-ra`im")

Yet nevertheless, when it is time to bless his grandchildren, Menashe and Efraim, Yaakov states "the angel that has saved me from everything bad".  So, what was it? Was his life good or bad? The answer: The grandchildren make everything worthwhile.

BH, May little Akiva Simcha grow to Torah, to Chuppah, and to performance of good deeds, to love our land and our people.

Shabbat shalom, Rabbi Menahem White

Thu, July 18 2024 12 Tammuz 5784