B’reshit / Gen. 28:10 – 32:3
Haftarah: Hoshea 11:7 – 14:9
Brit Chadashah: Yohanan / John 1:14-51
VaYetze means “and came out.”
Summary of The Parsha VaYetze
Ya’akov leaves his birthplace in Beer Sheva and travels to Haran.
On the way he meets “the place” and sleeps there.
He dreams of a ladder connecting heaven to earth, and of angels rising and descending it.
HaShem appears to him and promises that the land on which he is lying will be given to his descendants.
In the morning, Ya’akov raises the stone on which he rested his head as an altar and a monument, promising that it will be the house of HaShem.
Ya’akov stays in Haran, where he works for his uncle Laban, taking care of his sheep.
Laban agrees to give him her youngest daughter, Rakhel, whom Ya’akov loves, to marry her, as pay for seven years of work.
But on the night of the marriage, Laban gives him the eldest daughter, Leah, a deception that Ya’akov only discovers in the morning.
Ya’akov marries Rakhel also, a week later, after agreeing to work seven more years for Laban.
Leah has six sons, Ruvén, Shimon, Levi, Yehudah, Isakhar and Z’vulun, and a daughter, Dina, while Rakhel is barren.
Rakhel gives Ya’akov her maid, Bilá, to have children with her for Rakhel, and two more sons, Dan and Naftalí, are born.
Leah does the same with her maid, Zilpá, from whom Gad, and Asher are born.
Finally, the prayers of Rakhel are answered and Yosef is born.
Ya’akov was already in Haran for fourteen years and wishes to return home, but Laban convinces him to stay, offering him his sheep as pay for the work.
Ya’akov prospers, despite Laban’s repeated attempts to ruin him.
After six years, Ya’akov secretly leaves Haran, fearing that Laban would not allow him to leave with the family and riches for which he had worked.
And our parsha ends by saying that Laban and Ya’akov make a pact on Mount Gal-Ed, and Ya’akov continues journey to the Holy Land, where he is found by angels.
COMMENTARY OF THE PARSHA
28:10 וַיֵּצֵא יַעֲקֹב מִבְּאֵר שָׁבַע וַיֵּלֶךְ חָרָֽנָה׃
Vayetze Ya’akov mi-Be’er Shava vayelekh Haranah.
And Jacob went out from Beer Sheba and went toward Haran.
What can we learn from this week’s parsha?
Yaakov’s life was very hard, especially during the first twenty years he was working for Laban.
Fourteen of them to marry Laban’s daughters, Rakhel and Leah, and six years for Laban’s cattle.
The latter, on the other hand, changed his salary ten times. (B’reshit/Gen.31:41).
Some translations say, “you changed my salary many times”.
But in the original Hebrew he uses the word “eser” which means “ten” which is where the word “asar” comes from, tithing.
Laban deceived him several times.
First by telling him that if he worked seven years, he could marry Rakhel, but on the night of the wedding, he gave him Leah instead of Rakhel (B’reshit / Gen.29: 23).
Then he had to work another seven years for Rakhel, whom Ya’akov really loved.
Like the past parashat, here are those two examples to follow, the two directions in which to direct our lives, that of our spouse, children, and grandchildren: and decide to take the direction of Ya’akov, or of Laban.
Let’s remember that everything has a cost.
If we want to follow the direction and the responsible loyal lifestyle of Ya’akov, we will have made a decision totally contrary to the direction and lifestyle of Laban.
These types of decisions not only affect our selves, but they will affect those around us.
Our spouses, children and grandchildren will learn by our example, whether to be honest and upright, committed, and loyal people like Ya’akov, or quite the opposite, like Laban.
Our children learn from seeing us act, not only from what we tell them, but from what they see us doing, which is often the opposite of what we want to teach them.
Ya’akov always allowed himself to be guided by Elohim.
And Elohim(B’reshit 28:13-15)promised to give him the land where Ya’akov was, to him and all his offspring (for many generations).
He promised to keep his life, and although he left Beer Sheva and went to Haran, Elohim promised him that he would return to his land and fulfill everything promised.
And Ya’akov believed Elohim.
And Ya’akov “came to the place” because he had trusted Elohim and He was leading him where he should go.
10 “Ya’akov departed from Beer Sheva and headed for Haran. 11 When he came to a certain place,”
מָקוֹם “makom” means “standing place“, “place“, “certain place“.
“He stopped for the night because it was already getting dark. He took a stone,“
אֶבֶן “eben” means “common stone” or “stone in its natural state.”
A stone as a foundation to support his head, his thoughts, his life.
Mizmor/ Ps. 118:22 “The stone that the builders discarded has become the cornerstone. This has been the Lord’s work, and it leaves us amazed.”
Mattityahu / Mt. 21:42 “Yeshua said to them: Have you never read in the Scriptures: “The stone that the builders discarded has become the cornerstone; this is the work of the Lord, and leaves us amazed”?
Acts 4:11, The apostle Peter said: “Yeshua Ha Mashiach is ‘the stone—rejected by you, the builders—that has become the chief cornerstone.’
“He used it as a pillow and lay down to sleep in that place.”
Now I want us to go to Yohanan / Jn. 1:41-51:
41 Andrew first found his brother Shimon,”
“And said to him, ‘We have found the Messiah. “
Stand up and tell your brother on the right and left hand that you have found Mashiach.
42 Then he took him to Yeshua, who, staring at him, said to him, “You are Shimon, son of Yohanan / John.” You will be called Kefas (that is, Peter).
43 The next day, Yeshua decided to leave for Galilee. He met Philip, and called him and said, Follow me.
44 Philip was from the town of Bethsaida, as was Andrew and Peter.
45 Philip sought Nathanael and said to him, “We have found Yeshua of Nazareth, the son of Yosef, the One of whom Moses wrote in the Torah, and of whom the prophets wrote.
46 “From Nazareth!” replied Nathanael, “Can anything good come from there?”
The Jewish persons who cultivate olives knows this question well, “Can something good come out of Nazareth?
When the person who grows the olive tree, cuts the driest or loosest branches so that the plant grows strong. At that time the plant is known as a “netzar”.
But the person who does not cultivate it and sees the plant all undernourished asks the grower “can something good come out of netzar?”
47 When Yeshua saw Nathanael approaching him, he commented, “Here you have a true Israelite, in whom there is no falsehood.
Remember that Ya’akov deceived his father Yitzhak to obtain the blessing corresponding to his older brother Esau.
And HaShem changed Ya’akov’s name to Yisrael, “the one who fought with Elohim”
Then Yeshua recognizes Nathan-El (Gift of Elohim), and says, “Here you have a true Israelite, in whom there is no falsehood.”
48 “Where do you know me?” asked Nathaniel.
Yeshua answers: Before Philip called you, when you were still under the fig tree, I had already seen you.
The Jews in Yeshua’s time after having gone to the synagogue would study Torah under a fig tree.
And for this reason, Nathaniel confesses Him by saying:
49 “Rabbi, you are the Son of God, you are the King of Israel!” declared Nathanael.
Yeshua replies to him:
50 “Do you believe it because I told you that I saw you when you were under the fig tree? You are going to see even greater things than these! He added:
51 —I certainly assure you that you will see heaven open, and the angels of God rise and fall upon the Son of man.
What portion of the Bible do you think Nathaniel was studying?
The portion that you and I are studying today.
When you rest your head on a pillow, you are entrusting your thoughts, your dreams to the Creator of the Universe and trusting that when you get up from there, he will breathe his Ruach again upon you.
To lie down or to rest means no longer being prideful (momentarily).
And there the malajim/angels begin to go up and down the ladder(B’reshit 28:12).
Ya’akov is already in communication with Elohim and His messengers.
Thus, we must live in total communication with Elohim, through having Yeshua live in our Ruach.
Yeshua acts as a stone in our head, the place of our pride and thoughts, which communicates us with Elohim, if we so desire.
When we act as Ya’akov did, then we have Elohim’s support as Ya’akov had, as it says in B’reshit 31:42:
“If my father’s Elohim, the Elohim of Avraham, and the fear (of Elohim) that Yitzhakhad not been with me, you would have sent me now empty-handed. Elohim has seen my affliction and the fatigue of my hands, and He rebuked you last night.”
This teaches us how much trust Ya’akov had in Elohim.
He was his support, his only hope to move forward.
Elohim sees our affliction, our fatigue, both physical and psychological, and places His order to send His blessing, since we have acted within His commandments.
We, too, like Ya’akov, must make Elohim our only support, our only hope for getting ahead in all our affairs and problems, and not “trusting man,” who is nothing, and can do nothing.
Everything we do must be guided and ordered in advance by Elohim, and not by our own will, which knows nothing of the consequences that our actions may have.
Are you going to follow the example of our patriarch Ya’akov, or that of Laban?
Are you going to establish an honest family linked to Elohim in everything, or one linked to the waterfall we call “the world” that flows around us, full of deception and lies?
Shabbat Shalom Mishpochah!