A portion of the Tora-portion of this week:
Jacob leaves his hometown of Beersheba and journeys to Charan. On the way, he encounters “the place” and sleeps there, dreaming of a ladder connecting heaven and earth, with angels climbing and descending on it; G‑d appears and promises that the land upon which he lies will be given to his descendants. In the morning, Jacob raises the stone on which he laid his head as an altar and monument, pledging that it will be made the house of G‑d.
וַיֵּצֵ֥א יַעֲקֹ֖ב מִבְּאֵ֣ר שָׁ֑בַע וַיֵּ֖לֶךְ חָרָֽנָה׃ וַיִּפְגַּ֨ע בַּמָּק֜וֹם...
Jacob left Beer-sheba, and set out for Haran.
He came upon a certain place….
וְהָיָ֤ה זַרְעֲךָ֙ כַּעֲפַ֣ר הָאָ֔רֶץ וּפָרַצְתָּ֛ יָ֥מָּה וָקֵ֖דְמָה וְצָפֹ֣נָה וָנֶ֑גְבָּה וְנִבְרְכ֥וּ בְךָ֛ כׇּל־מִשְׁפְּחֹ֥ת הָאֲדָמָ֖ה וּבְזַרְעֶֽךָ׃
Your descendants shall be as the dust of the earth; you shall spread out to the west and to the east, to the north and to the south. All the families of the earth shall bless themselves by you and your descendants.
A beautiful explanation of this first verse of this week's Torah-Portion is in the Or HaChayim. Inspired by these words, I come to the following blog.
Every soul resides in the house of the Father (מִבְּאֵ֣ר ) before it was sent to this world. Just as Jacob stayed in his parental home before he went out to Haran.
Before the soul is instructed to descend to this world (וַיֵּצֵ֥א) G-d makes the soul swear (שָׁ֑בַע) that he will keep the Torah here on earth, in his physical body. For Noahides, that means accepting the Seven Noahides Laws and observing them in their details.
In the womb, we learn all these Laws and their details, however, the moment we are born, an angel slaps us on the lip so that we "forget" everything.
The obvious question: what's the point of learning something that we then completely forget?
In the womb we get the knowledge for free, we don't have to do anything for it. However, if you get something for free, it has little value. Now that we have to do our best to study and learn the Torah, it is much more valuable, but at the same time we also realize that it is a gift and that we need help to understand it and even with help the Torah as a whole can increase our comprehension. goes beyond.
We need this help from the moment we are born. Just as we are initially physically dependent on our loved ones from the moment of birth and only later are able to eat, walk, etc. independently, we are also spiritually dependent on others in the beginning to teach us which way we can use our animal soul to the honor and glory of our task for HaShem. How to nullify selfish needs and use all our attributes for the good.
Every time we receive correct teaching we will intuitively know whether it is the right teaching, because we will recognize that we already possessed this knowledge.
Knowledge of Torah, knowledge about G-d, will make us know Him and want to worship Him.
We do this by observing His commandments, but also through prayer (בַּמָּק֜וֹם). In our prayer we acknowledge Him as King who controls everything, thank Him as Creator who brings everything into being and ask Him for help and ask Him for forgiveness when we have made mistakes/mistakes in our learning. And in the moment we turn to Him, He will bless us.
One of the ways He blesses us is through His servant Jacob (כׇּל־מִשְׁפְּחֹ֥ת הָאֲדָמָ֖ה וּבְזַרְעֶֽךָ). The weeks of Sukkot are not so far behind us. At the Time of the Temple, the priests in the Temple brought 70 bulls to bless the world. Today, the Temple is not there, but the prayers the Jewish people bring to the Eternal for the nations will bless us. It is not only their prayers that bless us, but also the light of the Torah that they give to us, so that we can intensify our path to G-d and our relationship with G-d with an ever-growing amount of light.
Brought By Angelique Sijbolts
Angelique Sijbolts is one of the main writers for the Noahide Academy. She has been an observant Noahide for many years. She studies Torah with Rabbi Perets every week. Angelique invests much of her time in editing video-lectures for the Rabbis of the Academy and contributes in administrating the Academy's website in English and Dutch. She lives in the north of the Netherlands. Married and mother of two sons. She works as a teacher in a school with students with special needs. And is a Hebrew Teacher for the levels beginners en intermediate. She likes to walk, to read and play the piano.
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