Mamtak le Shabbat - Vaishlah

ממתק לשבת – פרשת וישלח - תשע״ט


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This coming Tuesday will be Kislev 19 according to the Jewish calendar - the holiday of "liberation" - the day of the release of Rebbe Shneur Zalman, the author of the book of Tanya, the first Rebbe of Chabad, from the royal prison. He was arrested on a denunciation that he allegedly helps the enemy - by sending money to the Jewish community in Israel, which at that time was under the rule of the Turkish Empire, and thereby allegedly helping the enemy. The Rebbe spent 53 days in prison. During this time, various ministers and other authorities who knew that the Rebbe had been arrested and had heard about him, came to the prison to see him.

One of the ministers who came to see him was fond of the Tanakh. When he came to the Rebbe he asked if he could ask him a Torah question. The Rebbe said yes. Then the minister asked, in the book of Genesis it is written that the Almighty addresses the first person after sin with the tree of knowledge and asks him - Ayeka? (where are you)

Chapter 3:9. And the Lord God called to the man and said to him: Where are you?

Does God not know where a person is?! Why does he ask a man

where are you? The Rebbe explained to him, as Rashi's commentator explains:

knew where he was, but (asked in order) to enter into a conversation with him, so that, answering, he would not be taken aback by the unexpected punishment. And the same goes for Cain. He said to him: “Where is Evel, your brother?” *4, 9+. And with Bilam: “Who are these people with you?” *In the desert 22, 9+. - To engage in conversation with them. And it is the same with Hizkiyahu, as for the messengers of Merodach Baladan *Yeshayahu 39, 3+.

G-d spoke to a man "from afar" so as not to frighten him, and so He moved on to the question of why he sinned.

The minister told him: I know what Rashi says. I want to know your opinion, what does your Hasidism say about this.


The Rebbe asked him: do you believe that the Torah is an eternal book, and not some kind of historical book with what once was, but something that is also connected with the future? The minister replied yes.

Then, the Rebbe told him, you should know that the question that the Almighty asks is Haeka (Where are you)? - this is the question that God asks each of us - Ayeka - where are you in this world? Are you really doing your job in this world? Is it possible to fulfill all your life for the sake of which you came into this world? And this is essentially the eternal question of the Almighty to each of us.

In the weekly chapter we read about the meeting between Yaakov and his

brother Esau after many years during which they did not

seen each other. Jacob sends angels and says this to his brother:

32:5. And he commanded them, saying: So tell my lord Esau: Thus said your servant Jacob: With Laban I have dwelt, and I have lingered until now. 6. And it became to me (property) an ox and a donkey, small cattle, and a male and a female slave. And I sent to inform my master, to find mercy in your eyes.

The sages say "I lived" in Hebrew - garti - the numerical value of the letters (himatria) -613 (the number of commandments in the Torah) - I lived with the bandit Laban, but kept all the commandments. What is the meaning of Jacob wanting to tell Esau that he kept the entire Torah? From this Esav will love and respect him more?!

Esav is not interested at all, he does not keep the commandments. In fact, this is what Yaakov was trying to tell him: yes, perhaps you are stronger than me, you have 400 warriors armed to the teeth. There is no doubt that you are physically stronger than me. But know that all the time that I lived with our uncle Laban, I kept 613 commandments and I have such strength that nothing can break me. This is my life path, which helps me to prosper and overcome all difficulties. And when this message reaches Esav, he understands that it is better to live peacefully with Yaakov.

This is what each of us should learn from this example. Also, the Alter Rebbe was released from prison due to his steadfastness in the fulfillment of the Torah and the commandments - precisely because he continued his path in the spread of Hasidism. Also, when Jacob stood before Esau, he was able to win thanks to: "I lived" = 613 commandments kept.


We also have various difficulties to overcome, and the way to overcome them is to stand steadfastly on those spiritual principles that the Torah and commandments teach us.

May the Almighty desire that we be able to succeed in this mission of ours and may we be rewarded with complete and speedy deliverance!

Amen 


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Once there lived one king, and he had one faithful assistant. Everything that the king wanted or asked his assistant did. When he grew up a little, he came to the king and told him that he wanted to quit. The king was upset and said to his assistant: “I want you to do one more thing and then I will let you go. I want to build a very beautiful house. I will give you everything you need for this, materials, labor, you just have to build it. when you finish building it, you are free to go wherever you want"

The assistant was already so tired of working for the king that he had neither the strength nor the desire to build this house. And so he did this last assignment of his sleeves, very casually. Employees, seeing that their boss treats the task this way, also began to do their work lazily and carelessly, periodically making mistakes and inaccuracies. As a result, the house turned out to be not as perfect as it should have been.

And now the house was finished, and the assistant came to the king and informed him that the house was built and the king could accept the work and release him. Then the king handed him the keys to the house and said: "This is my parting gift to you ..." and then the assistant realized what a mistake he had made without putting all his energy and strength into this work ...

In our weekly chapter - Vaishlach - we read about how the angel whom Jacob defeated gives Jacob a new name: "... And he said: Do not

Jacob speak more than your name, but Israel; ..." (Genesis 32:29) - but in reality, we see how the Torah continues to call Yaakov by the name "Yaakov", but, at the same time, by the name Israel. In contrast, for example, from Abraham, when after his name was changed from Avram to


Abraham, he was no longer called Abram. Immediately, the Torah continues to call him also by the name Yaakov.

In Hasidism, it is explained that the names "Jacob" and "Israel" symbolize two types of connection that can be between the Jewish people and the Creator.

The name "Jacob" symbolizes service to the T-creator by the "slave" type, and "Israel" - by the "son" type. The difference in service between a son and a slave is that the son does it from a feeling of love, with desire, he is glad and happy that he has the opportunity to do what his father tells him to do. The slave, on the other hand, does his work as a person who takes on the "yoke of heaven", he would not want to do it, he would like to rest now, sleep. But he has no choice, he is a slave and he is obliged to do what he does.

These two types of connection are also present in our connection with the G-north. There is a connection of the "son" type, when a person serves G-d with joy, out of a feeling of love. He thanks the T-creator for the honor that fell to him to be the companion of the Almighty in the structure of this world. But there is another kind of service - service to G-d and by the type of "slave" - does what he does, since he has no choice, he is obliged to do it ...

The Torah comes and tells us that despite the fact that, ideally, serving the T-creator should be like a "son" out of a feeling of love, it is impossible to serve the T-creator without accepting the yoke of heaven! Since the service of G-d begins with the acceptance of the yoke of heaven. Each of us has moments in life when he is not comfortable, when he does not feel like it, woke up without a mood, etc., but we must always remember that our connection with the Almighty does not depend only on our feelings, on our love, but that we serve Him precisely by taking upon ourselves the yoke of heaven. And so the Torah continued to use both the name "Jacob" and "Israel." In order to explain to us that these two types of service to the T-creator must always be present in the service of the Jew to Gd.

May the desire of the Almighty be so that we can be honored to serve Gd with joy, learn to combine "Jacob" with "Israel" - to serve in all different ways and ways ...

Amen 😊 Shabbat shalom!

Translation: Uri Golberg :)