Vayishlach 2019

Parshat Vayishlach By: Rabbi Moshe Goodman, Kollel Ohr Shlomo, Hebron                                                           בס”ד

לשכנו תדרשו

Discover the Holy Presence in the Holy Land

Newton’s First Law of Motion

Newton’s first law of motion states:An object will remain at rest or in uniform motion in a straight line unless acted upon by an external force.” Spiritually and halachically speaking there is a similar “law,” based on the verse “what was, will be” (Kohelet 1, 9). Halachically speaking there is also the concept “hazaka kamaita,” which means that, if there is no reason to suspect otherwise, we assume that a matter continues in its original state. 

In this parsha we find that, although it seems that Esav makes amends with Yakov, nevertheless our Sages discern “what was, will be” – that it is known that Esav hates Yakov,” and therefore even Esav’s kissing Yakov is interpreted by them to be Esav’s attempt in biting Yakov. The dissonance between Esav and Yakov is so great that the angel that fought with Yakov, considered the “angel of [i.e celestial being that governs] Esav,” is also identified by our Sages (Zohar Toldot) as none other than the “angel” Satan – Head of the “Side of Evil”, while, of course Yakov and his offspring represent the Side of Good in the world. As is well known, the power of this “angel” is also constant throughout the generations till the End of Days, when he will be “slaughtered” by Hashem (Suka 52a). This concept “what was, will be” we also see in our Sages’ assertion that the Roman Empire, considered descendants of Esav, continues on the ways and spirit of Esav. Here we should note too that one of Esav’s descendants was Amalek, whom we are commanded to obliterate forever.

All this said, the obvious question is: is there a constant positive “weapon” in combatting this constant evil power? The People of Israel are aided by many powerful constant weapons against Esav, such as Torah, prayer, good deeds, etc. but here we would like to concentrate on one powerful spiritual weapon based on the verse “generations come and go, but the Land is always standing.” This verse can allude to the tremendous spiritual and practical power of the Holy Land as a constant “weapon” for the Holy People, Israel. Among the locations within the Holy Land, Hebron stands out as the most “constant” settlement of the Jewish People within it. Hebron is identified by the Arizal (Shaar Hapsukim Shmuel) with the Holy Presence associated with “Rachel,” and indeed our Sages also say that Esav falls specifically in the hands of the descendants of Rachel (Breshit Raba 75, 5). Indeed, it is in Hebron that Esav was killed by Hushim, the son of Dan, son of Rachel’s maidservant (Sota 13a). Hebron also means connection (hibur) which signifies Israel’s steadfast connection to the Holy Land through this city. When we hold steadfast to Hebron we are ultimately show our deep commitment to the Holy Land, Land of the Holy Presence, which is the real “Force” that fights all our battles as the Torah states (Devarim 23:15): “For Hashem your God [Targum Onkelos – The Holy Presence] walks within your camp to deliver you and fight your enemies, and your camp shall be holy, and He shall not see a matter of nakedness among you and thus leave you.”  

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Miracles from the Holy Land 

““I am the head of a yeshiva in Israel. A boy in my yeshiva became deathly ill with cancer. After much searching, we found only one private doctor that had a special medical technique that could cure this boy. However, this doctor charges $130,000 for this surgery, and after receiving advice from prominent rabbis, it seemed that we would have to give up this treatment and not burden the public by requesting tzedaka to fund it… However, the next day this boy’s sister called, saying that she had decided to sell her apartment for the price of $130,000, which was much less than it was worth, in order to save her brother’s life, and so she did… On the day that the doctor planned the operation, I received a phone call from a different student of mine, telling me about a suitcase found in a cab. The cab driver had asked for help in returning the suitcase to the person whose name was written on the suitcase (apparently so he would not be suspect of stealing – m.g). It “turns out” that the owner of the suitcase was none other than the doctor we summoned. When I returned this suitcase to the doctor, he told me that this suitcase contained expertise equipment for the surgery that cost $400,000. I took the opportunity to tell the whole story to the doctor of how the boy’s sister sold her apartment for the surgery, and the Providence involved… The doctor “digested” this for a few minutes and then proclaimed: “I will not take any money for this operation!!”