Dvar Torah Vayeshev 2002 – 5762 דבר תורה וישב

The opening words of the Sidra are VAYESHEV YAAKOV, and Yaakov dwelled in the land where his father had lived (Gen. 37:1). The Torah had previously told us in great detail how Yaakov had returned to Israel. Why then repeat it here and tell us where Yaakov dwelled? In answer to this question Chazal tell us, “Yaakov wanted to dwell peacefully, instead the trouble with Yosef came up”. He wanted to dwell peacefully in his father’s land but he could not.

Yaakov had a problem with his brother and had to flee from his home. He was deceived by his uncle Lavan and had to work hard to please him. When coming back to Israel he encountered difficulties at Shechem. Now he had to face the loss of his dear son Yosef. In spite of all the troubles that Yaakov had in his lifetime, he remained true to his beliefs.

Rabbi Simcha Bunim referred to the Mishnah in Avot, which admonishes us not to say, “When I am free and have time I will study, for maybe you will never have time”. (Avot 2:5) He said there are some who complain that they have too many troubles that disturb them and prevent them from serving Hashem properly. The Rabbi said maybe Hashem wants him to specifically serve even though he has all these troubles. Do not say when I am rid of my problems I will then worship Hashem properly. Maybe you will not get rid of your problems.

Just as Yaakov underwent all the trials and tribulations and, nevertheless, worshipped Hashem properly so too should every Jew do the same.

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