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The Path Ignites The Soul

When the path ignites a soul,

there’s no remaining in place.

The foot touches ground,

but not for long.

                           Hakim Sanai


“He had sent Judah ahead of him to Joseph, to point the way before him to Goshen. So when they came to the region of Goshen (46:28 –,” on which Rashi comments, “‘Before him’ — means before he should arrive there. A Midrashic comment is: in the sense of, “that there might be teaching before him”) — to establish for him a House of Study from which Teaching might go forth (Genesis Rabbah 95:3).”


How fascinating that as the family heads out on their final journey – not “trip” – of the Patriarchs, Jacob makes sure that the Place will allow her inhabitants to continue to journey!

”And these words shall wrap your heart, and you shall demonstrate their immediacy to your children and converse with the Torah… as you walk on your journey.”


The Other Side of Halacha


Yet, when Josef sent them to inform Jacob his son was alive and the ruler of Egypt, he instructed them, “As he sent his brothers off on their way, he told them, ‘Do not be quarrelsome on the way’ (45:24),” and again, Rashi comments, “Do not busy yourselves with Halachic discussions lest the road become unsteady for you (i.e. lest you lose your way).”


Halacha that is quarrelsome leads one to lose his way. It is not the Halacha that nurtures “Each Step.”


Before they return to Jacob, the family is broken, and, as Rashi points out, ‘Because they felt ashamed Joseph feared that they might quarrel on the way about his having been sold, arguing one with another. One would say: “It was through you he was sold”. Another: “It was you who made slanderous statements about him and caused us to hate him”.’


Such an environment is when Halacha adds tension.


As Jacob leads the family to Egypt to settle as a whole family, Halacha can nurture. Even Yehuda, who initiated the sale of Josef, can be the first to settle and establish a House of Study.

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