Parshat Vayetze


(Haftara: Hoshea 12:13-14:10)

  1. [28:12] Ya’akov had a prophetic dream. In it, he saw a ladder standing on the ground, while its top reached Heaven. Angels were going up and coming down. One interpretation is that this represents a Tzaddik’s (a righteous person’s) frame of mind. Feet on the ground—head in Heaven. Another interpretation is that the angels that accompany a person in Israel are not the same as the angels outside of Israel. What other creative interpretations of this dream are possible?
  1. [29:11] When Ya’akov met Rachel, he cried. The midrash says that he was crying because he had a prophetic vision telling him that he would not be buried with her. Another explanation is that he was crying because he had found his soul-mate after this difficult journey. What is the difference between these 2 interpretations?
  1. [29:25] Lavan tricked Ya’akov by giving him Laya as a wife instead of Rachel. Then Lavan told Ya’akov that he must work 7 more years for Rachel. Ya’akov did not protest. Does this show his righteousness, or is it a flaw in his character?
  1. [29:13-32:3] Lavan has been described as a person of high ideals and of low behaviour. Do you agree? Where are these characteristics seen in the story?
  1. [Haftara-Hoshea 14:10] What does the last pasuk of the haftara mean when it says, “The ways of God are straight. The righteous walk on them, but the sinners stumble on them”?


[28:16] And Ya’akov awoke from his sleep and he said,” Surely God is in this place and I didn’t know”

If God’s presence is in this place– if I brought holiness into this world– it’s only because of “Anochi lo yadati”—I didn’t know my “I” at all. I didn’t do things for myself, but rather for God. Whoever does things in a selfless way,  is able to bring holiness into the world.

–Tiferet Shlomo (Reb Shlomo Hacohen of Radomsk—middle 1800’s)

This study page is dedicated to the memory of Gad Eliahu ben David and Kochava—Eli Zucker

And this study page is dedicated to the memory of Sarah Bella bat Yitzchak Kummer, Chaim Yosef Yechiel ben Eliyahu Kummer and Eliyahu and Margaret Kummer


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