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July 23, 2024

Archive for November 2, 2013

VaYetze (And Jacob Went Out) Parsha – Weekly Torah Portion


Genesis, 28:10-32:3
This Week’s Torah Portion | November 3 – November 9, 2013 – Cheshvan 30 – Kislev, 6, 5774

In A Nutshell

The portion, VaYetze (And Jacob Went Out), begins with Jacob leaving Beer Sheba and heading for Haran. He stops for the night and in his dream he sees a ladder “set up on the earth, with its top reaching to heaven; and behold the angels of God ascending and descending on it” (Genesis, 28:12). The Creator appears before him and promises him that the earth on which he is lying will be his, that he will have many sons, and that He will watch over him. The next morning, Jacob sets up a monument in that place and calls it, Beit El (House of God).

Jacob comes to a well near Haran, where he meets Rachel and her father, Laban the Aramean, who offers him to work for him for seven years in return for permission to marry Rachel. At the end of the seven years Laban deceives Jacob and gives him Leah instead. He compels Jacob to work for him seven more years, after which he gives him Rachel and Jacob marries her.

Leah has four sons from Jacob, while Rachel is barren. Rachel gives to Jacob her maidens, who give birth to four more of his sons. Leah delivers two more sons, until finally Rachel conceives and gives birth to Joseph.

Jacob asks Laban to pay for his work. Laban gives him some of the flock, although they had a different agreement. Jacob shows the flock the troughs, and they conceive and deliver. Some of the lambs are born striped, some are speckled, and some are spotted.

Jacob feels that Laban is not treating him as before. At the same time, an angel appears before Jacob and tells him to return to the land of Israel. He leaves without notifying Laban, and Rachel steals the idols. Laban chases them in search of the idols, catches up with Jacob on Mount Gilead, and rebukes him for fleeing and stealing the idols.

Finally, they make a covenant on the mountain. Jacob is preparing to enter the land of Israel, he sees angels accompanying him, and he calls the place, Mahanaim (two camps).

 Commentary by Dr. Michael Laitman

Kabbalah always interprets stories as stages in a person’s inner growth, according to man’s purpose in this world—to discover the Creator, to achieve His degree, meaning to achieve Dvekut (adhesion).

Thus far, all the portions related to man’s initial point, Abraham, which is scrutinized through study, the group, connection with the teacher, and the books of Kabbalah. Subsequently, a person discovers the next stage, Isaac, followed by Ishmael, and then by Esau.

The portion, VaYetze (And Jacob Went Out), speaks of Jacob, who is the middle line. Abraham is the right line, and Isaac is the left line. Jacob is special in that the middle line contains all the qualities, the good, as well as the bad. In the middle line, the evil inclination and the good inclination merge in order to achieve the degree of the Creator, our goal.

The work in the middle line is done entirely in faith above reason, in bestowal, above the ego. This is the quality of Jacob in a person, and this is how it develops. Jacob leaves Beer Sheba, meaning a certain place, an inner state, and heads for Haran, which is another stage along the way. On the way there he must shift from state to state through the day and the night. In other words, Jacob experiences internal, spiritual ascents and descents.

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Glossary – VaYetze (And Jacob Went Out) Parsha – Weekly Torah Portion

Jacob’s Ladder

Jacob’s ladder is the middle line by which one should walk; it is the golden path. This is the line in which one connects all of one’s elements, the good and the bad.

In fact, nothing is bad. If a person knows how to use the bad correctly, one turns it into good and helpful. This is why Jacob’s ladder is our desires, which are initially the evil inclination, as it is written, “I have created the evil inclination.” However, if we connect them to “I have created for it the Torah as a spice,” their combination creates the middle line.

On the one hand, we constantly correct worse and worse desires, since “one who is greater than his friend, his desire is greater than him.” [3] The more we advance, the more we discover how evil we are. A greater force comes to us, the force of the light that we discover, which we must expose and with which we correct ourselves. When the two connect in the degrees, we grow “richer,” both from the desire and from the light that corrects the desire.

Thus, the sum total of one’s soul grows (in the connection between them), and in it, the Creator increasingly appears. This is how we achieve attainment in the middle line, until we actually reach Beit El

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Kabbalah Study in a Group and with a Teacher

Kabbalah Study in a Group and with a Teacher

Kabbalah is almost always studied in groups, over the Internet, in local groups, and even some international groups exist. A group study accelerates the spiritual progress of a person who studies alone millions of times over. One who studies alone can only use one’s own Vessel to receive the Light of the Creator, meaning spirituality.

People who study in a group create a kind of spiritual Vessel that consists of all the participants, and everyone begins to enjoy the group’s illumination. Let us assume that there are ten participants. The illumination that is received is not ten times as much as a single individual can receive, but millions of times stronger. The reason is the incorporation, meaning the soul of each and every one of the participants consists of 620 parts, with each part joining the others. The mixture of the parts together creates one collective Vessel.

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