Monday, November 22, 2010

בית יעקב הכולל וישלח

ואחר עד עתה . בבראשית רבה (פע׳׳ה ס״ה) שעדיין לא נולד שטנו של אותו האיש. וכדכתיב והיה בית יעקב אש ובית יוסף להבה ובית עשו לקש (עובדיה א׳ י׳׳ח) כי

Yaakov’s message to Eisav was “I lived with Lavan and remained there until now.” The Midrash answers the implied question of what was he waiting for? The Midrash says that Yaakov was waiting for Yosef, who was the “secret weapon” against  Eisav, to be born before he could leave to face Eisav.  Ovadia prophesied  that Eisav is compared to straw and Yaakov is a fire, Yosef is a tongue of flame which ignites the straw. This shows that Yosef is the one force who can beat Eisav.


אש הוא מברר בעולם הזה. למי שאומר שיש לו רכוש מכחו ועוצם ידו. כדכתיב ואש לא אמרה הון (משלי ל׳ ט״ז) בהתעטף הקב׳׳ה בזה הלבוש אז יתבטלו כל הרכושים.  וזה דאיתא בגמרא (שבת קי׳׳ט ב ) אין הדליקה מצויה אלא במקום שיש חיליל שבת. כי שבת רומז אשר לה׳ הארץ ימלואה. ולפי שהוא יחננו לזה יתברר באש. כדאיתא בויקרא רבה (פ״ז ס״י) שכל המתגאה אינו נידון אלא באש.


Let’s understand Yaakov, Eisav and their relationship. Fire, through its ability to burn and destroy everything,  reminds a person that despite their talents and strength, they are not what grants success, nor are things that acquired through them, really acquisitions  as the Pasuk in Mishlei tells us that fire does not distinguish between wealth and poverty. The Gemara also explains that desecration of the Shabbos brings the outbreak of fires. This is because Shabbos reminds us that Hashem owns everything, and is whatever we have is only when he gives it to us, and desecrating it brings fire which teaches. Therefore, the Midrash also teaches us that anyone who is arrogant is judged with fire. Fire helps us to see the truth, and burn through self deception.


. ולהבה שילט למרחוק ובית עשו לקש כי הקש הוא הקל יותר נגד האש כי בהריחו אש מיד ישרף. וכמו כן בעולם יעקב אבינו הוא הקורט והמובחר שבכל התבואה, ועשו הוא רק הקש. אכן כל זמן שלא נגמר הבירור  התבואה צריך להקש. וזה שכתוב מעט מעט אגרשגו וגו׳ (שמות כ״ג ל׳)  אבל לאחר הבירור יכלה הפסולת ולכן שלח לו מרכושו כדי שיתן בוי קיווי שעוד יש לו ולא יפרוק עולו. ולזה המתין עד לידת יוסף הצדיק. כי יוסף הצדיק הוא המחזיק והמגביל שלא יפול וכן נפש מישראל החוצה חס ושלום. כי מדתו הוא פשוטי מצות. ובזה יש לכל נפש מישראל אחיזה

Yosef is called a flame can set things on fire from afar. Eisav is called straw; it is the thing which fire burns up immediately.


 Yaakov, is grain, the chosen purpose of creation and Eiav is the straw which protects the grain, but once the grain has been removed from the straw, it is not needed. (Similarly, Hashem promises to drive out the Canaanite nations bit by bit.) After the separation has been completed, there is no need for the straw anymore. It is this fact that pushes Eisav away from Kedusha. Since he is the master of this world, what is the point of repairing the world, if it will lead to your ultimate rejection? This is why the Yetzer Hara’s mission is the exclamation, “What is the significance of man that he should be remembered?” His essence is “The futility of it all!” The Yezter Hara is the “angel” of Eisav.   

The answer to this problem is Yosef, who enters into the world as a leaping flame, which can raise up this world. It is specifically Ovadia, the convert from Eisav who reveals this teaching to us.  Yaakov sent Eisav all sorts of gifts, things of the physical world, to show how they could be lifted up, so that he should have hope and not rebel against Hashem. Now we can understand why Yaakov waited until Yosef was born; with Yosef’s strength, he will assure that no Jew will fall out of the realm where the fire of Yaakov can touch them.  The venture of the flame of Yosef into the world also means that the simple fact that a person can perform Mitzvos in this world, and everyone can relate to them in that way.


. ולזה היה ההבטחה בחלומו על מדתו של יוסף הצדיק. שלא ירד שום נפש מישראל. וסלם עם השם הויה הנצב עליו בגימטריא יוסף. וכן גם הבהמות ששלח לו בגימטריא שלשה פעמים יוסף. בהצטרפות שני שמות הויה ואלהים שהוא בנימטריא יב"ק.

Yaakov’s dream, of a ladder with its head in the sky and feet on the ground is a dream of Yosef, of the ability of the Torah to reach out of the heavens in to the world, so that no one will be left behind.  Therefore, the word ladder with Hashem, standing over is  the name Yosef in gematria. “The animals which Yaakov sent him” is three times the Gematria of the name Yosef. The name of the place where Yaakov fought with the Malach is Yabok, which the Arizal reaveled is the Gematria Hasehm Elokim, which the  בית יעקב explains means the struggle over the frustration of the futility of life.



  The Izhbitzer Tradition מסורת איזביצא

The Rebbe, the בית יעקב  explains the fight against the depression of Eisav, the power of Yosef and the role of Ovadia , the Ger in בית יעקב וישלח  מ"ח כ"ו

Practical Advice

            Many times in life, we feel the depression of Eisav creep over ourselves regarding futility of life, and thoughts even trying to grow. Yaakov waited for Yosef in order to be able to touch our lives when we are unable to see our lives as unable to fight any more, to receive Yaakov’s presents of hope that he is sending us.


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