Jacob fled Aram with his family and flock in secret, fearful that his possessive father-in-law would try to prevent him. Laban indeed pursued him, and when he overtook him, he accused Jacob of spiriting his daughters and grandchildren away before he could say goodbye properly.
Longing for Home
וְעַתָּה הָלֹךְ הָלַכְתָּ כִּי נִכְסֹף נִכְסַפְתָּה לְבֵית אָבִיךָ וגו': (בראשית לא:ל)
[Laban said to Jacob,] “You departed now because you longed continuously for your father’s house.” Genesis 31:30

Jacob’s stay with Laban foretold our own sojourn in exile. Just as Jacob was far away from his physical home and immersed in an environment that opposed spirituality, our exile comprises both a physical Diaspora and – more importantly – the spiritual darkness of the unredeemed world. And just as Jacob was never comfortable in his place of exile and constantly yearned to return to his father’s home, so must we constantly yearn to return to our Father’s “home.” No matter how successful we are in fulfilling our Divine mission in exile, we must never feel “at home” in it.

When we consider how long the exile has continued, we might erroneously feel that our longing has not born any fruit. The truth is, however, that the more we realize the significance of our spiritual exile, the more our longing for the Messianic Redemption is intensified, which in turn hastens the Redemption.1