Parshas VaYaitzai

וַיַּחֲלֹם וְהִנֵּה סֻלָּם מֻצָּב אַרְצָה וְרֹאשׁוֹ מַגִּיעַ הַשָּׁמָיְמָה וְהִנֵּה מַלְאֲכֵי אֱלֹהִים עֹלִים וְיֹרְדִים בּוֹ: בראשית כח/יב-

He had a dream; a ladder was set on the ground and its top reached to the sky, and angels of Hashem were going up and down on it. (Braishis 28/12)

He had a dream; a ladder was set on the ground and its top reached to the sky, and angels of God were going up and down on it. (Braishis 28/12)

The Medrash Rabbah (68/12) comments on this:

behold, a ladder was set on the ground– (this is referring) to the ramp of the mizbaich (alter ) in the Bais HaMikdash

its top reached to the sky– (this is referring) to the sacrifices

and angels of Hashem were going up and down on it– this is referring to the kohannim

Rabbanin explain this possuk differently; that it is referring to Har Sinai at the time that we received the Torah:

behold, a ladder– (this is referring) to Mt. Sinai (Sinai and “sulam” (ladder in Hebrew) have the same numerical value of 130)

set on the ground– (is referring to) the Jewish Nation that stood on the ground underneath the mountain

its top reached to the sky– (is referring to) The mountain that was ablaze with flames to the very skies (at the time of the giving of the Torah) (Devorim 4/21)

Zera Shimshon asks how are these two ideas, korbonos and Har Sinai, even remotely related to Yakkov’s leaving Yitzchok’s house to go to Lavan’s that Hashem showed them to him in a dream?

He answers by first explaining a different Medrash.

It is written in the end of last week’s parsha right before Yaakov left Yitzchok’s house (Braishis 28/1), “And Yitzchok called for Yaakov to come and he blessed him…”. The medrash explains that the blessing that he blessed him was “the beracha of exile”. Zera Shimshon asks what does it mean “the beracha of exile”? Exile is usually a punishment and not a blessing!

He answers in light of a third medrash (Braishis Rabbah 44/21) that says that at the Bris Bain HaBesarrim Hashem gave Avraham the choice of how his future generations will be cleansed from their impurities and sins. He could choose that they will suffer in Gehenim or they will suffer bondage under the nations of the world. Avraham chose bondage which was more gentle than the punishment of Gehenim.

Besides showing Avraham these two things Hashem also showed him the Torah and korbonos and Hashem told him that although both gehimom and exile are very difficult if they learn Torah and bring korbonos, Hashem will lighten these punishments.

According to this, the meaning of “the blessing of exile” is that Yitzhok blessed Yaakov that they will suffer exile which is milder than Gehenim.

Zera Shimshon continues and explains that after Yaakov left Yitzhok and was on his way to Lavan’s house he was thinking about this “beracha” and became very concerned and distressed about the exile that his future generations will suffer.

Therefore, to console him, Hashem showed him in a dream that his children will not necessarily have to suffer in exile. It is not a “closed deal”. If they will bring korbonos and keep and learn the Torah then they will be spared the suffering of exile.

———————————2————————————-

וַיִּקַּח אֶת הָאֶבֶן אֲשֶׁר שָׂם מְרַאֲשֹׁתָיו וַיָּשֶׂם אֹתָהּ מַצֵּבָה וַיִּצֹק שֶׁמֶן עַל רֹאשָׁהּ.-בראשית כח/יח

On the possuk, “And he (Yaakov) took the stone that was under his head…” Pirkei D’Rebbi Eliezer comments, “What did Hashem do? H. stretched H.s right foot and sunk this stone into the depths of the earth and H. made it a part of the Earth just like a person makes a doorpost to support the lintel (a horizontal support of timber, stone, concrete, or steel across the top of a door or window). Therefore it (this rock) is called “even shesia” because this (stone) is the core of the world and from this stone the world expanded.

(On that stone) the Palace of Hashem (Bais Hamikdash) stands like it says, “… and this rock that I (Yaakov) made an alter, will be the Dwelling Place of Hashem.”

We see from the Pirkei D”Rebbi Eliezer that until Yaakov took the stone and placed it under his head, the foundations of the world were not yet complete.

Zera Shimshon asks why did Hashem put on the finishing touches of the world  specifically now, before Yaakov arrived at the house of Lavan? Why couldn’t it have waited until Yaakov left Lavan’s house with his wives and children?

He answers by first asking a similar question on a different Medrash. The Medrash says that Hashem first created the food for mankind and only after that did H. create people. He asks why was this order so important? Why couldn’t Hashem first create mankind and after that their food?

He explains in light of the halacho that a person is allowed to do whatever he wants to do on his own property even if his neighbor will eventually be damaged. (For instance, he can plant a tree in his yard even though that the roots will eventually spread and damage his neighbor’s field.)

However he is not allowed to do something that will cause immediate and direct damage. For instance, he is not allowed to  dig a pit in his field if the digging will weaken his neighbor’s wall. He can dig a pit on his own property only if he distances himself far enough away from his neighbor’s property not to cause any damage.

In actually, people and the physical world really damage each other. We damage the world by doing sins (like what happened at the time of the Flood in the days of Noach).  The world damages us by enticing us to do avairos through forbidden pleasures. However there is a fundamental difference between the way we damage each other.

The world damages us immediately. Almost involuntary, we see something and the heart yearns for it. However, our damage to the world doesn’t come right away. Hashem warns us and gives us time to do teshuva. Only then, if we don’t heed the warnings, does Hashem punish the world.

According to this, reasons Zera Shimshon, we can understand why Hahem created our food before H. created us.

The world needs both people and food for people in order to exist. If mankind was created first,  Hashem wouldn’t be able, so to speak, to create our food since the physical world directly and immediately damages us.

However since our actions don’t damage the world immediately, therefore there is no problem that Hashem creates us, just like it is permitted to plant a tree in your own property even though the roots will cause damage later on.

Yaakov Avinu didn’t just go to Lavan’s house. He went there to bring into this world the 12 tribes who’s existence is the basis and root of all of mankind. (This is symbolized by the fact that there are twelve tribes  which is parallel to the 12 Zodiac signs, the 12 months, and the 12 combinations of the name of Hashem).

If Hashem would have waited to finish creating the foundation of the world until Yaakov returned from the house of Lavan and after he gave birth the the twelve tribes, H. would not have been able to finish the creation of the world, since the world directly and immediately damages mankind.

Therefore right before Yaakov arrived at the house of Lavan and begot the Twelve Tribes, Hashem put on the finishing touches of our world.

—————————————-3————————————-

וַיִּפְגַּע בַּמָּקוֹם וַיָּלֶן שָׁם כִּי בָא הַשֶּׁמֶשׁ וַיִּקַּח מֵאַבְנֵי הַמָּקוֹם וַיָּשֶׂם מְרַאֲשֹׁתָיו וַיִּשְׁכַּב בַּמָּקוֹם הַהוּא:-בראשית כח/יא

On the possuk “and he (Yaakov) lied down in that place (Har HaBayis) because the sun set” the Medrash (Pirkei D’Rebbi Eliezer perek 35) comments that Hashem said to Yaakov that since he has enough to eat and drink he should now rest in this place (Har HaBayis). Yaakov replied that the sun has not completely set (it went down only 5 measures) so the time for him to sleep has not come yet. Hashem therefore made the sun go down. When Yaakov saw the sun in the west he went to sleep.

Zera Shishmon asks a number of questions on this Medrash.

Firstly, why did Hashem preface the request that Yaakov should sleep with the fact that he had enough to eat and drink? What does having enough to eat have to do with his sleeping?

Secondly, why did Hashem want Yaakov to sleep there specifically when it was still day?

Thirdly, why didn’t Yaakov immediately comply with Hashem’s wishes to sleep there? What did he see wrong in sleeping when it was still day?

Fourthly, if Yaakov didn’t want to sleep in the day why then did he sleep before sunset, when the sun was still in the west?

Zera Shimshon answers these questions in light of two ideas found in two different sources.

The Kli Yakar explains that Hashem showed Yaakov the Beis HaMikdash in his dream in order that in the merit of the Bais HaMikdash he would be saved from Eisav.

How is this?

Firstly, the fact that no metal was used in the building of the Beis HaMikdash counters Eisav’s strength which is connected to weapons. And, secondly, the fact that not only does the sun have no effect on the Bais HaMikdash but the Bais HaMikdash actually dimmed the sunlight! This therefore weakens Eisav since he lives under the influence of the sun (for instance, he counts his calendar according to the sun) and he gets his power through the sun.

The second idea is found in a Medrash in the beginning of Breishis. The Medrash asks why in the beginning of creation is the moon referred to as one of the “the BIG shining objects” (the other one is the sun) but it is later referred to as the “SMALL shining object? The Medrash answers that the moon was punished because it “entered into the domain of the sun” (the moon is sometimes seen in the day) and as a punishment was made small. Even though that it shines in the day with permission, it was still damaged.

According to these two ideas, Zera Shimshon explains the dialogue between Hashem and Yaakov.

Hashem wanted Yaakov to sleep in the place of the Bais HaMikdash only exclusively in the day when the sun shines because this is time when Eisav is strongest and it is when Eisav gets his power. Hashem wanted Yaakov to davven there and in the merit of the Bais HaMikdash which overpowers and dims the sunlight, Eisav’s strength would be weakened. Yaakov, however, was scared to trespass on Eisav’s domain for fear of being hurt (like what happened to the moon at the time of Creation).

To discredit Yaakov’s argument Hashem prefaced the request to sleep in the place of the Bais HaMikdash by saying that you already have food and drink. Hashem intended to point out to Yaakov that since this world is under the rule of Eisav by taking pleasure from this world which was given to Eisav he is already trespassing. Therefore there is no need to worry to weaken the influence of the sun.

Yaakov didn’t accept this argument. He held that since no one can live with eating and drinking “one cannot bring a proof from something that is impossible to something that is possible”

Hashem accepted Yaakov’s argument and therefore made the sun begin to set. After it was mostly all the way down Yaakov understood that it is alluding to the end of Eisav’s rule and was no longer afraid of trespassing and therefore laid down to rest!

HaRav Shimshon Nachmaini, author of Zera Shimshon lived in Italy about 300 years ago in the time of the Or HaChaim HaKodesh.

The Chida writes that he was a great Mekubal and wrote many sefarim including sefarim about practical kabbolo but asked that all of his sefarim be buried after he passes away except for Zera Shimshon and Niflaos Shimshon on Avos.

He had one child who died in his lifetime (hence the name Zera Shimshon) and in the preface he promises for people who learn his sefarim after he dies ... And your eyes will see children and grandchildren like the offshoots of an olive tree around your tables, wise and understanding with houses filled with all manner of good things... and wealth and honor......
HaRav Shimshon Nachmaini, author of Zera Shimshon lived in Italy about 300 years ago in the time of the Or HaChaim HaKodesh.

The Chida writes that he was a great Mekubal and wrote many sefarim including sefarim about practical kabbolo but asked that all of his sefarim be buried after he passes away except for Zera Shimshon and Niflaos Shimshon on Avos.

He had one child who died in his lifetime (hence the name Zera Shimshon) and in the preface he promises for people who learn his sefarim after he dies ... And your eyes will see children and grandchildren like the offshoots of an olive tree around your tables, wise and understanding with houses filled with all manner of good things... and wealth and honor......

If you are interested in buying your own copy of the Hebrew version of Zera Shimshon

Call 05271-66-450 in Eretz Yisroel

or

347-496-5657 in the U.S.A.

You can now  HEAR shiurim of Zera Shimshon on Kol Halashon:

In E. Yisroel: 073-2951-727 or 03-617-1111 and then press 1,1,3,24

In U.S.A. (718) 395-2440 and then press 2,6,4,24

_________________________
To have new D’vrei Torah sent directly to your inbox fill in boxes below: