Rabbi Hillel Skolnik’s Torah Spark for Parashat Vayeitzei5778 – Weekend of November 25, 2017

Rabbi Hillel Skolnik’s Torah Spark for Parashat Vayeitzei5778 – Weekend of November 25, 2017

This Shabbat we read from Parashat Vayeitzei in which Ya’akov leaves home both to find a wife from his mother’s family and also to save his only life after his brother Eisav has
threatened to kill him. He is, one might say, overly successful in finding a wife as he ends up with two wives and their two maids, all of whom bear him children in this week’s portion. By
the end of Vayeitzei, Ya’akov has gone from a single man who liked to stay in the tent to an accomplished shepherd with eleven sons and one daughter. In other words, Ya’akov grows up.
But even as he matures, one tendency from his earlier years remains with him. When it came time for Ya’akov and his family to leave, their departure is repeatedly stalled by Ya’akov’s
father-in- law, Lavan. Eventually, instead of confronting Lavan and dealing with the problem, Ya’akov does what he has done in the past when faced with serious confrontation, he runs
away. Instead of facing the issue head on, he tried to hide from it. Of course Lavan finds out and chases them down only to cause what was surely a more complicated confrontation than it
otherwise could have been. Thankfully, Ya’akov seems to learn his lesson and takes a much more straight forward approach when it came to reuniting with Eisav (as we will read about
next week). But it should remind us all that while running from our problems might seem like a useful strategy, chances are good that our problems will find us in the end.

Shabbat Shalom,

Rabbi Hillel Skolnik