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Haftarah Discussions: Shemot



Coming As Jacob: “Days are coming when Jacob will take root, Israel will bud and blossom and fill the face of the earth like fruit.” Many of the Chassidic masters play with the opening words of the verse and read it as, “Those who are coming to be like Jacob.” The Zichron Zot on Isaiah reads the verse as, “Those who are coming to live under the wings of the Divine Presence, must take root as Jacob, the one who sat in simplicity and studied Torah. After this, they must bud and blossom as Israel, and emulate the Divine Attributes. Those who do so, will merit, “They will fill the face of the earth like fruit.”

The Rishpei Aish reads the verse as, “Those who are coming to serve God, must first plant in their hearts the “Eikev,” the fundamentals, in order to bud and blossom in their service of God.

The Dudaim Basadeh on Shemot reads this as, “Those who are coming to delve into the secrets of God must first extend the roots of Jacob, humility and reverence, before they can blossom and bud.

The Yeitiv Lev on Shemot reads this verse as a description of those who are coming to Egypt with Jacob and desire to flourish as did Israel in Egypt.

Can you find any clues in the verses of this parsha to the Children of Israel emulating Jacob and earning the merit to bud and blossom and eventual redemption?

Jacob Completing Abraham:
“Therefore, so said God, Who redeemed Abraham, to the House of Jacob.” (29:22)  Jacob’s attribute of Rachamim – Balanced Compassion – is what saved Abraham from the furnace of fire. Abraham went in willing to die. It was Jacob’s accomplishments of Rachamim that saved Abraham. (Rashei Besamim – Lech Lecha)

Abraham’s attribute of Chesed – nurturing the life force of others with acts of loving kindness can be dangerous if it spreads without boundaries. It can survive and thrive in a healthful manner only when completed with Truth, the Attribute of Jacob. (Divrei Shmuel Slonim – Vayechi)

What can we learn from this idea of a future generation, Jacob, protecting an earlier generation, Abraham? What are the dangers of boundless Chesed? Where do we find Jacob’s ability to balance Chesed?

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