(Haftara: Hoshea 12:13-14:10)
- [28:12] “And he dreamed, and there was a ladder standing on the ground…” God promises Ya’akov may things in this prophetic dream. What does the ladder with the angels going up and down have to do with the promises and the prophecies that were told to Ya’akov?
- [28:16] “…’Surely God is in this place, and I didn’t know'”. A Chassidic interepretation of this statement is that God is present in this world and Ya’akov only now realized that. Where is God present in this world?
- [28:22] “…and everything that you give me, I will give a tenth to you.” Ya’akov said that he would give God a tenth of everything that he gets. How does a person give a gift to God?
- [31:13] The reason that Ya’akov and his family are leaving Lavan is because God told him to leave. However, when telling his wives, he emphasizes the fact that it’s difficult to live with Lavan and his family. He mentions God’s command to leave only as an afterthought. Why does Ya’akov do this?
- [Haftara: Hosea 14:3] “Take words with you, and return to God.” One of the laws of repentance is that a person has to confess his or her sins. Why is it so important to actually express one’s sins to God with words? Shouldn’t it be enough to sincerely regret what one has done?
- [Famous joke question: 28:10] “And Ya’akov left Be’er Sheva…” How is this pasuk a proof that a man should wear a kippah on his head? Answer: Would Ya’akov go without a kippah?
[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 Sarah Bella bat Yitzchak Kummer, Chaim Yosef Yechiel ben Eliyahu Kummer and Eliyahu and Margaret Kummer