Parshat Vayetzei: November 13, 2021 – 9 Kislev 5782

Erev Shabbat

Friday, November 12

  • Candle lighting: 4:41 pm

Parshat Vayetzei

Shabbat, November 13

  • Stone Chumash p. 144
  • 148 Psukim (verses)
  •  Haftorah: Hosea Ch. 12. Stone Chumash p. 1139 “Vayivrach Yakov”

Important Shabbat Times

  • Candle lighting: 4:41 pm
  • Vasikin (Sunrise): 6:37:30 am
  • Latest Morning Shma: 9:12 am
  • Earliest Mincha: 12:13 pm
  • Havdalah: 5:38 pm
  • Zoom Havdalah: 5:55 pm

Insights from the Tradition: Parshat Vayetzei

Our Parsha continues where last week’s story ends. Yaakov Avinu leaves his home in Beer Sheva and travels to Haran, the home of his ancestors. En route he realizes that he is passing Mount Moriah, the site of his father’s great test. He returns to the mountain and spends the night there. G-d appears to him in prophecy; Yaakov sees angels ascending and descending a great ladder that reaches to heaven. When he awakes, he realizes the importance of this place, which will be destined to become the site of the Holy Temple. He takes an oath that if G-d will support him with his basic needs, Yaakov will fulfill His will, including the mitzvah of tithing.

Then we discover the debacle between Yaakov and his uncle Lavan. Yakov marries Leah believing her to be Rachel. After the ruse has been discovered, Yaakov agrees to work another seven years to marry Rachel.

With Rachel and Leah, Yaakov begins to build his family, the future tribes of Israel. He eventually fathers eleven sons and one daughter. Lavan tries to cheat Yakov out of his earnings, but an angel tips off Yakov, and he outsmarts Lavan. After living in Haran for twenty years, Yaakov decides to return home to Canaan. He leaves without telling Lavan. Lavan chases after him, and allows him to leave on condition that he treats his daughters well, and that he agrees not to go to war with him. Rachel steals her father’s idols and does not tell her husband. When Lavan accuses him of stealing, Yakov allows Lavan to search his home. Lavan finds nothing. Yaakov angrily asserts that if any of his family stole his idols, then that person should die! This terrible curse comes back to haunt Yakov in next week’s parsha. Stay tuned!

Mitzvah of the Week: Mitzvah #433

It is a positive mitzvah to pray to G-d. As it says, “and you shall work for Him.” Also it states: (Deut. 11/2) “and to labor before Him with your heart.” How does one labor for G-d in one’s heart? This must refer to  prayer (Sifrei ad. Loc.). According to the Rambam, this mitzvah applies every day, in all places, for both male and female. (Some debate whether this mitzvah is mandatory for women, as it is a positive commandment determined by a specific time, i.e. “day”.) According to the Ramban (Nachmanides), a person who is experiencing suffering of any kind, and does not pray to G-d for relief, violates this implied negative commandment.

Shabbat Shalom!