Archives for posts with tag: yaakov


The past ten days have been very emotional for the Jewish people. We have buried fathers, mothers, brothers, sisters, children and classmates. At the same time, though, we have rejoiced at weddings and bat mitzvahs and each others accomplishments.

Sometimes, we may feel that those who are suffering, are not people we know and the emotions are minimal compared to the emotions that run, were it someone closer. Likewise, it may be difficult to feel the joy that is not your own.

Yaakov was left alone on one side of the river after his family had already crossed over. It was then that the angel of Esav came down and began to attack him. The Meforshim explain that this Malach is the Yetzer Hara, who was trying to knock Yaakov off the straight yet narrow path of Kedusha. The question is asked, why did the Malach wait for Yaakov to be alone to begin to fight him? There are many approaches to answering this. Rav Yaakov Kamenetzky offers a unique approach.  Read the rest of this entry »


I had a thought on the events in the Parsha and Mechiras Yosef.

We are taught that the suffering and exile we have suffered as a nation is due to Mechiras Yosef. The common explanation is that there was a hatred amongst the brothers and this evolved into Sinas Chinam on a national level.

I was thinking that perhaps an additional explanation can be that the sin was that it caused Yaakov angst and suffering due to hiding information about Yosef’s whereabouts and his false death.

We know Yaakov was so depressed over this that he was unable to merit Ruach Hakodesh. The Torah describes how when Yosef heard about the suffering of his father, that’s what caused him to break and reveal that he was indeed Yosef. He then sent for his father. Upon hearing and then finally believing the news of the safety of Yosef, the Ruach Hakodesh returned. Yaacov went down to Mitzrayim and Yosef strived to give Yaakov as much respect as possible.

My suggested explanation is that the suffering caused to Yaakov due to Mechiras Yosef is the reason for the suffering of the Jewish people.

We know that one who respects his father (and mother) is given long days. This is not only on an individual scale, it works on a national scale as well. Meaning, perhaps working together to have proper Kibud Av as individuals, our days could be lengthened as a nation. The suffering and the exile we have suffered may be due to the lack of Kibbud Av of the Shvatim towards Yaakov, which was a bi-product of their Sinas Chinam.

I would love to hear your thoughts…