The very first time the Torah testifies that our patriarch Jacob fully enjoyed and appreciated life is during the period of time that he lived in Egypt.

We must assume that it is the spiritual quality of life that Jacob, the saintliest of our forefathers, came to appreciate. How then was Jacob able to appreciate spiritual life in a place of absolute moral depravity? The answer lies in the Yeshiva (Torah academy) that he established while he was in Egypt.1

Even in an unseemly place of spiritual impurity Jacob developed a center of light, a source of spiritual energy that produced an aura of holiness.

The Personal Egypt

Every Jew has inherited from Jacob the ability to transcend the limitations of our personal environment, the ability to transform our personal Egypt into a personal Jerusalem, by creating an oasis of happiness and G‑dliness.

We can uncover spiritual life even when friends, neighbors and acquaintances who are spiritually corrupt, surround us. Furthermore, it is possible to positively influence those very friends to fashion for themselves a life of Torah, Judaism and holiness.