Sunday, December 2, 2012

Seeing the Signs - A Message from Rav Zalman Sorotzkin

This was shared with me a couple of weeks ago, but I haven't had time to share it...sorry for the delay.

The Torah tells us that after Yosef was born, Yaakov realized that the time had come to return home. Yet, when we look at the text, it seems that something else also contributed to Yaakov's desire to leave Haran and return the the Land of Canaan. It seems that he no longer got along with his brothers-in-law as well as he used to.

וַיִּשְׁמַע, אֶת-דִּבְרֵי בְנֵי-לָבָן לֵאמֹר, לָקַח יַעֲקֹב, אֵת כָּל-אֲשֶׁר לְאָבִינוּ; וּמֵאֲשֶׁר לְאָבִינוּ--עָשָׂה, אֵת כָּל-הַכָּבֹד הַזֶּה. וַיַּרְא יַעֲקֹב, אֶת-פְּנֵי לָבָן; וְהִנֵּה אֵינֶנּוּ עִמּוֹ, כִּתְמוֹל שִׁלְשׁוֹם .וַיֹּאמֶר ה'אֶל-יַעֲקֹב, שׁוּב אֶל-אֶרֶץ אֲבוֹתֶיךָ וּלְמוֹלַדְתֶּךָ; וְאֶהְיֶה, עִמָּךְ  - בראשית לא:א-ג
And he heard the words of Laban's sons, saying: 'Jacob hath taken away all that was our father's; and of that which was our father's hath he gotten all this wealth.'  And Jacob beheld the countenance of Laban, and, behold, it was not toward him as beforetime. And the LORD said unto Jacob: 'Return unto the land of thy fathers, and to thy kindred; and I will be with thee.' (Bereishit 31:1-3)

Commenting on this interesting progression in the Torah, Rav Zalman Sorotzkin writes in his commentary to the Chumash (called Oznayim L'torah),

Translation: According to the order of the verses it emerges that after Lavan and his sons began to speak and look with an evil eye towards Ya'akov, only then did God say to him, "Return to the Land of your fathers." This is a sign for the children, that at the moment that the Holy One wishes that [his children] should return to their borders, he places in the hearts of the nations [the desire] to do evil to, and to afflict Israel in the lands of their dispersion. Fortunate is the Jew, who sees the finger of God in this matter, and hears the voice of God calling to him, "Return to the Land of your Fathers."
Fortunate indeed.