Parshas Vayetze

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Ya’akov’s flocks of sheep.

The Midrash describes the Jewish people as God’s “sheep” (Shir Hashirim Rabah 2:16), as an expression of their total dedication to God, like sheep that follow their shepherd unquestioningly.

Ya’akov exemplified this level of dedication while he worked for Lavan, remaining loyal to God’s commands despite the spiritually alien environment. Thus, to hint to Ya’akov’s dedication, God rewarded him with wealth that came about through amassing sheep.

However, when Ya’akov returned to confront Eisav, he did not stress sheep as his most important acquisition, but rather, oxen (32:6). Ya’akov was hinting, “Because I am dedicated to God like a quiet sheep, therefore I have God’s might behind me, so I will be as strong as an ox against you!”

This teaches us that, in our observance of mitzvos we should be utterly humble towards God like a sheep; but when fighting the forces that oppose Judaism in the outside world, we cannot stand by sheepishly and watch Jews be drawn away from their heritage. Rather, we must fight for Jewish values with the strength of an ox.

(Based on Likutei Sichos vol. 15, p. 252ff.)

Some time ago Kol Menachem launched an online classroom for Jews on the go – ‘Torah in Ten’. The series provides weekly insightful conversations on the current Torah portion. The class includes interesting commentaries from renowned historical figures as well as modern views in addition to thought provoking and inspiring questions.Announcing his new idea Rabbi Miller wrote: “In this go, go, go world we live in, it can be difficult to sit down and find time to study the weekly parsha. And when shabbos rolls around, we all wish we had studied more and could contribute to the conversation at the shabbos table. Not to mention our children, don’t we all wish we could provide them beautiful insights into the weekly parsha?”.‘Torah in Ten’ is now available not only from a computer. Asked by Jewish iPhone Community and many more iPhone users Kol Menachem kindly agreed to change the format of presentation so that weekly portion of ‘Torah in Ten’ was available to be watched on iPhone’s/iPad’s screens. Nu, now then, what kind of excuse will you come up with? Torah in Ten will take place every Thursday, for ten minutes. Let’s sum up with Rebbe’s words: “Our task is solely to illuminate the world with the light of Torah, Judaism and Chassidus”.

Your weekly “Torah In Ten” videocast by Rabbi Chaim Miller – Parshas Vayeitzei

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