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Torah Reading for Vayeitzei

Torah Reading for Vayeitzei

Genesis 28:10-32:3

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Chapter 28

10. And Jacob left Beer sheba, and he went to Haran.   י. וַיֵּצֵא יַעֲקֹב מִבְּאֵר שָׁבַע וַיֵּלֶךְ חָרָנָה:
And Jacob left: Because, it was due to the fact that the daughters of Canaan were displeasing in the eyes of his father Isaac, that Esau went to Ishmael, Scripture interrupted the account dealing with Jacob and it is written (above verse 6): “When Esau saw that Isaac had blessed [Jacob], etc.” And as soon as Scripture finished [the account of Esau’s marriage], it returned to the previous topic.   ויצא יעקב: על ידי שבשביל שרעות בנות כנען בעיני יצחק אביו הלך עשו אל ישמעאל, הפסיק הענין בפרשתו של יעקב וכתיב (לעיל כח ו) וירא עשו כי ברך וגו', ומשגמר חזר לענין הראשון:
And Jacob left: Scripture had only to write: “And Jacob went to Haran.” Why did it mention his departure? But this tells [us] that the departure of a righteous man from a place makes an impression, for while the righteous man is in the city, he is its beauty, he is its splendor, he is its majesty. When he departs from there, its beauty has departed, its splendor has departed, its majesty has departed. And likewise (Ruth 1:7): “And she went forth from the place,” stated in reference to Naomi and Ruth. - [From Gen. Rabbah 68:6]   ויצא יעקב מבאר שבע: לא היה צריך לכתוב אלא וילך יעקב חרנה, ולמה הזכיר יציאתו, אלא מגיד שיציאת צדיק מן המקום עושה רושם, שבזמן שהצדיק בעיר הוא הודה הוא זיוה הוא הדרה, יצא משם פנה הודה פנה זיוה פנה הדרה וכן (רות א ז) ותצא מן המקום, האמור בנעמי ורות:
and he went to Haran: He left in order to go to Haran. — [From Gen. Rabbah 68:8,]   וילך חרנה: יצא ללכת לחרן:
11. And he arrived at the place and lodged there because the sun had set, and he took some of the stones of the place and placed [them] at his head, and he lay down in that place.   יא. וַיִּפְגַּע בַּמָּקוֹם וַיָּלֶן שָׁם כִּי בָא הַשֶּׁמֶשׁ וַיִּקַּח מֵאַבְנֵי הַמָּקוֹם וַיָּשֶׂם מְרַאֲשֹׁתָיו וַיִּשְׁכַּב בַּמָּקוֹם הַהוּא:
And he arrived at the place: Scripture does not mention which place, but [it means] the place mentioned elsewhere, which is Mount Moriah, concerning which it is said (Gen. 22:4):“And he saw the place from afar.” [From Pes. 88a]   ויפגע במקום: לא הזכיר הכתוב באיזה מקום אלא במקום הנזכר במקום אחר, הוא הר המוריה שנאמר בו (לעיל כב ד) וירא את המקום מרחוק:
And he arrived: Heb. וַיִפְגַע, as in (Josh. 16:7):“and it reached (וּפָגַע) Jericho” ; (ibid. 19: 11):“and it reached (וּפָגַע) Dabbesheth.” Our Rabbis (Gen. Rabbah 68:9, Ber. 26b) interpreted it [the word וַיִפְגַע] as an expression of prayer, as in (Jer. 7:16):“And do not entreat (תִּפְגַּע) me,” and this teaches us that he [Jacob] instituted the evening prayer. [Scripture] did not write וַיִתְפַּלֵּל, [the usual expression for prayer], to teach that the earth sprang toward him [i.e. the mountain moved toward him], as is explained in the chapter entitled גִיד הַנָּשֶׁה (Chullin 91b).   ויפגע: כמו (יהושע טז ז) ופגע ביריחו, (שם יט יא) ופגע בדבשת. ורבותינו פירשו לשון תפלה כמו (ירמיה ז טז) ואל תפגע בי, ולמדנו שתקן תפלת ערבית. ושנה הכתוב ולא כתב ויתפלל, ללמדך שקפצה לו הארץ, כמו שמפורש בפרק גיד הנשה (חולין צא ב):
because the sun had set: Heb. כִּי בָא הַשֶּׁמֶשׁ [Scripture] should have written [in reverse order]:“And the sun set (וַיָּבֹא), and he stayed there overnight.” [The expression] כִּי בָא הַשֶּׁמֶשׁ implies that the sun set suddenly for him, not at its usual time, so that he would have to stay there overnight. [From Gen. Rabbah 68:10, Chullin 91b]   כי בא השמש: היה לו לכתוב ויבא השמש וילן שם. כי בא השמש, משמע ששקעה לו חמה פתאום שלא בעונתה כדי שילין שם:
and placed [them] at his head: He arranged them in the form of a drainpipe around his head because he feared the wild beasts. They [the stones] started quarreling with one another. One said, “Let the righteous man lay his head on me,” and another one said, “Let him lay [his head] on me.” Immediately, the Holy One, blessed be He, made them into one stone. This is why it is stated (verse 18):“and he took the stone [in the singular] that he had placed at his head.” [From Chullin 91b]   וישם מראשותיו: עשאן כמין מרזב סביב לראשו שהיה ירא מפני חיות רעות. התחילו מריבות זו עם זו, זאת אומרת עלי יניח צדיק את ראשו, וזאת אומרת עלי יניח, מיד עשאן הקב"ה אבן אחת, וזהו שנאמר (פסוק יח) ויקח את האבן אשר שם מראשותיו:
and he lay down in that place: [The word הַהוּא] is a restrictive expression, meaning that [only] in that place did he lie down, but during the fourteen years that he served in the house of Eber, he did not lie down at night, because he was engaged in Torah study. [From Gen. Rabbah 68:11]   וישכב במקום ההוא: לשון מיעוט באותו מקום שכב, אבל ארבע עשרה שנים ששמש בבית עבר לא שכב בלילה, שהיה עוסק בתורה:
12. And he dreamed, and behold! a ladder set up on the ground and its top reached to heaven; and behold, angels of God were ascending and descending upon it.   יב. וַיַּחֲלֹם וְהִנֵּה סֻלָּם מֻצָּב אַרְצָה וְרֹאשׁוֹ מַגִּיעַ הַשָּׁמָיְמָה וְהִנֵּה מַלְאֲכֵי אֱלֹהִים עֹלִים וְיֹרְדִים בּוֹ:
ascending and descending: Ascending first and afterwards descending. The angels who escorted him in the [Holy] Land do not go outside the Land, and they ascended to heaven, and the angels of outside the Holy Land descended to escort him.[From Gen. Rabbah 68:12]   עולים ויורדים: עולים תחלה ואחר כך יורדים, מלאכים שליווהו בארץ אין יוצאים חוצה לארץ ועלו לרקיע, וירדו מלאכי חוצה לארץ ללותו:
13. And behold, the Lord was standing over him, and He said, "I am the Lord, the God of Abraham your father, and the God of Isaac; the land upon which you are lying to you I will give it and to your seed.   יג. וְהִנֵּה יְהֹוָה נִצָּב עָלָיו וַיֹּאמַר אֲנִי יְהֹוָה אֱלֹהֵי אַבְרָהָם אָבִיךָ וֵאלֹהֵי יִצְחָק הָאָרֶץ אֲשֶׁר אַתָּה שֹׁכֵב עָלֶיהָ לְךָ אֶתְּנֶנָּה וּלְזַרְעֶךָ:
And behold, the Lord was standing over him: to guard him.   נצב עליו: לשמרו:
and the God of Isaac: Although we do not find in Scripture that the Holy One, blessed be He, associates His name with that of the righteous during their lifetimes by writing “the God of so-and-so,” for it is said (Job 15:15):“Lo! He does not believe in His holy ones,” [i.e., God does not consider even His holy ones as righteous until after their deaths, when they are no longer subject to the evil inclination,] nevertheless, here He associated His name with Isaac because his eyes had become dim, and he was confined in the house, and he was like a dead person, the evil inclination having ceased from him (Tanchuma Toledoth 7).   ואלהי יצחק: אף על פי שלא מצינו במקרא שייחד הקב"ה שמו על הצדיקים בחייהם לכתוב אלהי פלוני, משום שנאמר (איוב טו טו) הן בקדושיו לא יאמין, כאן ייחד שמו על יצחק לפי שכהו עיניו וכלוא היה בבית, והרי הוא כמת, ויצר הרע פסק ממנו:
upon which you are lying: (Chullin ad loc.) The Holy One, blessed be He, folded the entire Land of Israel under him. He hinted to him that it would be as easily conquered by his children (as four cubits, which represent the area a person takes up [when lying down]). [From Chullin 91b]   שכב עליה: קיפל הקב"ה כל ארץ ישראל תחתיו, רמז לו שתהא נוחה ליכבש לבניו:
14. And your seed shall be as the dust of the earth, and you shall gain strength westward and eastward and northward and southward; and through you shall be blessed all the families of the earth and through your seed.   יד. וְהָיָה זַרְעֲךָ כַּעֲפַר הָאָרֶץ וּפָרַצְתָּ יָמָּה וָקֵדְמָה וְצָפֹנָה וָנֶגְבָּה וְנִבְרְכוּ בְךָ כָּל מִשְׁפְּחֹת הָאֲדָמָה וּבְזַרְעֶךָ:
and you shall gain strength: Heb. וּפָרַצ ְתָּ, as in יִפְרֹץ וְכֵן,“and so did they gain strength” (Exod. 1:12). [after targumim]   ופרצת: וחזקת, כמו (שמות א יב) וכן יפרוץ:
15. And behold, I am with you, and I will guard you wherever you go, and I will restore you to this land, for I will not forsake you until I have done what I have spoken concerning you."   טו. וְהִנֵּה אָנֹכִי עִמָּךְ וּשְׁמַרְתִּיךָ בְּכֹל אֲשֶׁר תֵּלֵךְ וַהֲשִׁבֹתִיךָ אֶל הָאֲדָמָה הַזֹּאת כִּי לֹא אֶעֱזָבְךָ עַד אֲשֶׁר אִם עָשִׂיתִי אֵת אֲשֶׁר דִּבַּרְתִּי לָךְ:
And behold, I am with you: [God promised Jacob this] because he was afraid of Esau and Laban.   אנכי עמך: לפי שהיה ירא מעשו ומלבן:
until I have done: אִם is used in the sense of כִּי, [meaning that].   עד אשר אם עשיתי: אם משמש בלשון כי:
I have spoken concerning you: Heb. ל‏ָ, for your benefit and concerning you. What I promised to Abraham concerning his seed, I promised in reference to you and not in reference to Esau, for I did not say to him, “for Isaac will be called your seed,” [which would signify that all of Isaac’s descendants would be regarded as Abraham’s] but“for in Isaac,” [meaning part of Isaac’s descendants] but not all [the descendants] of Isaac (Nedarim 31a). Likewise, wherever לִי, לוֹ, ל‏ָ and לָהֶם are used in conjunction with a form of the verb“speaking” (דִּבּוּר) they are used in the sense of “concerning.” This [verse] proves it, because heretofore, He had not spoken to Jacob.   דברתי לך: לצרכך ועליך, מה שהבטחתי לאברהם על זרעו, לך הבטחתיו ולא לעשו, שלא אמרתי לו כי יצחק יקרא לך זרע, אלא כי ביצחק, ולא כל יצחק. וכן כל לי ולך ולו ולהם הסמוכים אצל דיבור, משמשים לשון על, וזה יוכיח, שהרי עם יעקב לא דיבר קודם לכן:
16. And Jacob awakened from his sleep, and he said, "Indeed, the Lord is in this place, and I did not know [it]."   טז. וַיִּיקַץ יַעֲקֹב מִשְּׁנָתוֹ וַיֹּאמֶר אָכֵן יֵשׁ יְהֹוָה בַּמָּקוֹם הַזֶּה וְאָנֹכִי לֹא יָדָעְתִּי:
and I did not know [it]: For had I known, I would not have slept in such a holy place. [from Bereishith Rabbathi , attributed to Rabbi Moshe Hadarshan]   ואנכי לא ידעתי: שאילו ידעתי לא ישנתי במקום קדוש כזה:
17. And he was frightened, and he said, "How awesome is this place! This is none other than the house of God, and this is the gate of heaven."   יז. וַיִּירָא וַיֹּאמַר מַה נּוֹרָא הַמָּקוֹם הַזֶּה אֵין זֶה כִּי אִם בֵּית אֱלֹהִים וְזֶה שַׁעַר הַשָּׁמָיִם:
than the house of God: Said Rabbi Eleazar in the name of Rabbi Jose ben Zimra: This ladder stood in Beer-sheba and the middle of its incline reached opposite the Temple, for Beer-sheba is situated in the south of Judah, and Jerusalem [is situated] in its north, on the boundary between Judah and Benjamin, and Beth-el was in the north of the territory of Benjamin, on the boundary between Benjamin and the sons of Joseph. Consequently, a ladder whose foot is in Beer-sheba and whose top is in Beth-el-the middle of its slant is opposite Jerusalem. This accords with what our Sages said, that the Holy One, blessed be He, said, “This righteous man has come to My lodging place [i.e., the Temple Mount]. Shall he leave without lodging?” And furthermore, they said: Jacob called Jerusalem Beth-el. But this place [which he called Beth-el] was Luz, and not Jerusalem. So, from where did they learn to say this? [i.e., that Luz was Jerusalem.] I believe that Mount Moriah was uprooted from its place, and it came here, [to Luz, i.e., at that time, Luz, Jerusalem and Beth-el were all in the same place], and this is the “springing of the earth” mentioned in Tractate Chullin, i.e., that the [site of the] Temple came towards him until Beth-el. This is the meaning of ויפגע במקום “And he met the place.” Now if you ask, “When Jacob passed by the Temple, why did He not detain him there?” [The answer is:] If he did not put his mind to pray in the place where his forefathers had prayed, should they detain him from heaven? He went as far as Haran, as it is stated in the chapter entitled, “Gid HaNasheh” (Hullin 91b), and the text, “and he went to Haran” (verse 10) supports this. When he arrived in Haran, he said, “Is is possible that I have passed the place where my forefathers prayed, and I did not pray there?” He decided to return, and he went back as far as Beth-El, and the earth “sprang toward him.” [This Beth-El is not the one near Ai, but the one near Jerusalem, and because it was the city of God, he called it Beth-El, the house of God, and that is Mount Moriah where Abraham prayed, and that is the field where Isaac prayed, and so did they say in Sotah (sic.) (Pes.88a) [concerning the verse] (Micah 4:2):“Come, let us go up to the Mount of the Lord, to the House of God of Jacob.” [It is] not [called] as did Abraham, who called it a mountain, and not as did Isaac, who called it a field, but as did Jacob, who called it the House of God. An exact edition of Rashi.   כי אם בית א-להים: אמר רבי אלעזר בשם רבי יוסי בן זמרא הסולם הזה עומד בבאר שבע ואמצע שיפועו מגיע כנגד בית המקדש, שבאר שבע עומד בדרומה של יהודה, וירושלים בצפונה בגבול שבין יהודה ובנימין, ובית אל היה בצפון של נחלת בנימין בגבול שבין בנימין ובין בני יוסף, נמצא סולם שרגליו בבאר שבע וראשו בבית אל מגיע אמצע שיפועו נגד ירושלים. וכלפי שאמרו רבותינו שאמר הקב"ה צדיק זה בא לבית מלוני ויפטר בלא לינה, ועוד אמרו יעקב קראה לירושלים בית אל וזו לוז היא ולא ירושלים ומהיכן למדו לומר כן. אומר אני שנעקר הר המוריה ובא לכאן, וזהו היא קפיצת הארץ האמורה בשחיטת חולין (חולין צא ב), שבא בית המקדש לקראתו עד בית אל, וזהו ויפגע במקום. [ואם תאמר וכשעבר יעקב על בית המקדש מדוע לא עכבו שם, איהו לא יהיב לביה להתפלל במקום שהתפללו אבותיו, ומן השמים יעכבוהו, איהו עד חרן אזל כדאמרינן בפרק גיד הנשה (חולין צא ב), וקרא מוכיח וילך חרנה, כי מטא לחרן אמר אפשר שעברתי על מקום שהתפללו אבותי ולא התפללתי בו, יהב דעתיה למהדר וחזר עד בית אל וקפצה לו הארץ]:
How awesome: The Targum renders: How awesome (דְּחִילוּ) is this place! דְּחִילוּ is a noun, as in (Targum Exodus 31:3):“understanding” סוּכְלָתָנוּ; (below verse 20):“a garment (וּכְסוּ) to wear.”   מה נורא: תרגום מה דחילו אתרא הדין. דחילו שם דבר הוא, כמו סוכלתנו, וכסו למלבש:
and this is the gate of heaven: A place of prayer, where their prayers ascend to heaven (Pirkei d’Rabbi Eliezer , ch. 35). And its midrashic interpretation is that the Heavenly Temple is directed exactly towards the earthly Temple. [From Gen. Rabbah 69:7]   וזה שער השמים: מקום תפלה לעלות תפלתם השמימה. ומדרשו שבית המקדש של מעלה מכוון כנגד בית המקדש של מטה:  
18. And Jacob arose early in the morning, and he took the stone that he had placed at his head, and he set it up as a monument, and he poured oil on top of it.   יח. וַיַּשְׁכֵּם יַעֲקֹב בַּבֹּקֶר וַיִּקַּח אֶת הָאֶבֶן אֲשֶׁר שָׂם מְרַאֲשֹׁתָיו וַיָּשֶׂם אֹתָהּ מַצֵּבָה וַיִּצֹק שֶׁמֶן עַל רֹאשָׁהּ:
19. And he named the place Beth El, but Luz was orignally the name of the city.   יט. וַיִּקְרָא אֶת שֵׁם הַמָּקוֹם הַהוּא בֵּית אֵל וְאוּלָם לוּז שֵׁם הָעִיר לָרִאשֹׁנָה:
20. And Jacob uttered a vow, saying, "If God will be with me, and He will guard me on this way, upon which I am going, and He will give me bread to eat and a garment to wear;   כ. וַיִּדַּר יַעֲקֹב נֶדֶר לֵאמֹר אִם יִהְיֶה אֱלֹהִים עִמָּדִי וּשְׁמָרַנִי בַּדֶּרֶךְ הַזֶּה אֲשֶׁר אָנֹכִי הוֹלֵךְ וְנָתַן לִי לֶחֶם לֶאֱכֹל וּבֶגֶד לִלְבֹּשׁ:
If God will be with me: If He keeps these promises that he promised me to be with me, as He said to me, “And behold, I am with you.” [from Gen. Rabbah 70:4]   אם יהיה א-להים עמדי: אם ישמור לי הבטחות הללו שהבטיחני להיות עמדי, כמו שאמר לי (פסוק טו) והנה אנכי עמך:
and He will guard me: As He said to me, “and I will guard you wherever you go.”   ושמרני: כמו שאמר לי (פסוק טו) ושמרתיך בכל אשר תלך:
and He will give me bread to eat: As He said, “for I will not forsake you,” for if one must seek bread, he is called “forsaken,” as it is said, (Ps. 37:25): “and I have not seen a righteous man forsaken and his seed seeking bread.” [from Gen. Rabbah 69:6]   ונתן לי לחם לאכול: כמו שאמר (פסוק טו) כי לא אעזבך, והמבקש לחם הוא קרוי נעזב, שנאמר (תהלים לז כה) ולא ראיתי צדיק נעזב וזרעו מבקש לחם:
21. And if I return in peace to my father's house, and the Lord will be my God;   כא. וְשַׁבְתִּי בְשָׁלוֹם אֶל בֵּית אָבִי וְהָיָה יְהֹוָה לִי לֵאלֹהִים:
And if I return: As He said to me, “and I will restore you to this land.”   ושבתי: כמו שאמר לי (פסוק טו) והשיבותיך אל האדמה:
in peace: Perfect from sin, that I will not learn from the ways of Laban.   בשלום: שלם מן החטא, שלא אלמד מדרכי לבן:
and the Lord will be my God: that His name will rest upon me from beginning to end, that no disqualification should be found among my seed, as it is written: “[I will do] that which I have spoken concerning you.” And this promise He promised to Abraham, as it is said (17: 7):“to be a God to you and to your seed after you.” (“Your seed” [means that they should be] of pure lineage, that no disqualification should be found in him.) [from Sifrei Va-etchanan 31]   והיה ה' לי לא-להים: שיחול שמו עלי מתחלה ועד סוף, שלא ימצא פסול בזרעי, כמו שנאמר (פסוק טו) אשר דברתי לך, והבטחה זו הבטיח לאברהם, שנאמר (שם יז ז) להיות לך לא-להים ולזרעך אחריך:
22. Then this stone, which I have placed as a monument, shall be a house of God, and everything that You give me, I will surely tithe to You.   כב. וְהָאֶבֶן הַזֹּאת אֲשֶׁר שַׂמְתִּי מַצֵּבָה יִהְיֶה בֵּית אֱלֹהִים וְכֹל אֲשֶׁר תִּתֶּן לִי עַשֵּׂר אֲעַשְּׂרֶנּוּ לָךְ:
Then this stone: Heb. וְהָאֶבֶן הַזֹּאת, lit., and this stone. This“vav” of וְהָאֶבֶן is to be explained as follows: If You will do these things for me, I too will do this: “And this stone, which I have placed as a monument, etc.” As the Targum paraphrases: “I will worship upon it before the Lord.” And so he did when he returned from Padan-aram, when He said to him, (35:1): “Arise, go up to Beth-el.” What is stated there? (ibid. verse 14): “And Jacob erected a monument, etc., and he poured a libation upon it.” [from Mishnath Rabbi Eliezer, ch. 14]   והאבן הזאת: כך תפרש וי"ו זו של והאבן, אם תעשה לי את אלה, אף אני אעשה זאת:
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