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Parashat Vayetzei - 5774

My friends,

This Shabbat we read the portion of Vayetzei. Jacob leaves Beer Sheva and heads towards Mesopotamia, fleeing from his brother Esau who is planning to kill him for stealing his birthright. In this parasha we read of the famous, beautiful dream he has when he lays down in the field. He sees a ladder standing on the ground but reaching all the way to heaven - and angels of G-d are ascending and descending. There is much to talk about in this dream and its meaning, but I will share with you a beautiful teaching of Rashi on the first verse of this Torah portion:

"Vayetzei Yaakov mi Beer Sheva, vayelech Haranah."

"Jacob went out of Beer Sheva and went to Haran."

Why does the Torah tell us where he went out from? We know that he was in Beer Sheva - it should have just stated that Jacob went to Haran. Rashi explains that when a good person leaves a place, the place is no longer the same. Think about all the wonderful people you have known who are no longer around because they moved away or, G-d forbid, have passed on. We miss those people. Our environment, our community is no longer the same.

Appreciate all the wonderful people in your life.

Shabbat Shalom,

Avram