Chasidic Insights

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by Zvi Akiva Fleisher

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Ch. 28, v. 15: "V'hi'nei onochi imoch ushmarticho" - When you have the constant awareness of "onochi," the first of the Ten Commandments, then I will guard you. (Rebbe Reb Shemlke of Nikelsberg)

Ch. 28, v. 16: "Ochein yeish Hashem bamokome ha'zeh v'onochi lo yodoti" - When is Hashem's Holy Spirit present? It is when I do not give credence to myself, "onochi." When a person is haughty he pushes away the presence of Hashem. (Rabbi Yehoshua of Dzhikiv in Atteres Y'shuoh)

Ch. 28, v. 16: "V'onochi lo yodoti" - Yaakov had always thought that sleeping was a necessary evil needed to rejuvenate the mind and body. This is why he never "went to sleep" and only catnapped at Yeshivas Shem v'Eiver. Now Yaakov had his first serious sleep and had a prophetic vision of angels and their ascent and descent. He then said, "Ochein yeish Hashem bamokome ha'zeh." Indeed there is service of Hashem in this place where I slept. "V'onochi lo yodoti," until now I was not aware of the possibility of serving Hashem through sleeping. (Rbbi Yaakov Yitzchok of Blendov in Emes l'Yaakov)

Ch. 28, v. 17: "Ein zeh ki im beis Elokim" - Why the double exclusion, "ein" and "ki im." Why didn;y Yaakov simply say "zeh beis Elokim"? Since the gemara P'sochim 88a says that Avrohom called the Temple Mount "har," and Yitzchok called it "so'deh." Yaakov called it "ba'yis" in our verse, to the exclusion of the names given by his father and grandfather, hence the words "ein" and "ki im". (Sfas Emes in Likutei Yehudoh)

Ch. 28, v. 17: "Ein zeh ki im beis Elokim" - Yaakov, in his utter humility, could not fathom how he merited seeing such a powerful prophetic vision. He concluded that it was in the merit of being in such a sanctified location. (Admor of Alexander in Yismach Yisroel)

Ch. 28, v. 17: "V'zeh shaar hashomoyim" - This location is the bridge between heaven and earth. It is the holiest location on this physical earth, yet experiences numerous miracles beyond the confines of nature. Likewise, heavenly influences flow through this location, using it as a conduit to bring blessing to the whole world. (Rabbi Yaakov of Ishbitze in Beis Yaakov) (see Droshos hoRa"n drush #6)

Ch. 29, v. 7: "Hein ode ha'yom godole lo eis yei'o'seif hatzone" - Our evil inclination attempts to seduce us, claiming that when we are young and energetic we should pursue our desires. We have many, many years to repent, "hein ode ha'yom godole." However, the wise man realizes that "lo eis yei'o'seif hatzone," there is no set time when the shepherd, Hashem, collects His sheep. We do not know when our time is up, so we should always behave properly. (Noam Elimelech)

Ch. 29, v. 11: "Va'yishak Yaakov l'Rochel va'yiso es kolo va'yeivk" - Why did Yaakov cry so loudly? This is because he saw that in the future coarse-minded people would incorrectly interpret his kissing Rochel as an act of passion. (Rabbi Shmuel Yaakov haKohein Traube shlit"a)

Rashi says that Yaakov cried because at this moment he saw a prophetic vision, that Rochel would not be buried along side him. We clearly see that the act of kissing Rochel was a very spiritual one, since at that moment he merited to receive prophecy. (Rabbi Yisroel of Kozhnitz in Avodas Yisroel)


See also Sedrah Selections and Oroh V'Simchoh

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