Torah Portion: Vayetze (He went Out) Genesis 28:10-32:3
HafTorah: Hosea 11:7-13:5
This week we look at more than 20 years of Jacob’s life. We see him from the time he leaves home until he journeys back. He leaves with just his clothes on his back and returns with wives, children and many flocks. He leaves and actually becomes the first Jew to live in the galut. I think we can learn a lot by looking at his life and what it shows us spiritually. Let us begin with the first verse of our portion, Genesis 28:10. Here we see Jacob leaving the Land, that place on which the eyes of G-d are continually on and going toward Haran, a place of wickedness. Sometimes we are called to leave our comfortable, spiritual surroundings to go into a world that does not know G-d. How do we deal with it? How do we keep ourselves grounded in truth? Jacob made sure he left from a safe place, called “The Place” in Hebrew. This means more than just any place. His last night was spent, as he later states, in the house of G-d. There G-d speaks to him and promises him to be his protector and to bring him home. He does the same for each of us. I believe He is with us each step of our journey as we walk in His promise. When we leave our house each day G-d goes with us. Like Jacob we should begin our day having spent time with Him. We should prepare ourselves spiritually by being with Him each day. Our challenges each day should be met with our connection with Him, our knowing of His way and how we are to conduct ourselves in the world.