The history of Israel has been painted with exiles:
– Adam and Eve from Gan Eden (Paradise)
– Noach from the old world
– Avraham from his family and country
– Ya’akov from his family going back to the country Avraham had come from
– the exile to Babylon
– the 2000 years exile after the destruction of the Tempel in Jerusalem

The Gan Eden exile caused all of humankind to be in exile from which nobody ever returned yet. The exile of Israel is already in remission. And those of the Gentiles who chose to follow the G-d of Israel and His Torah are coming home as well.

The fact that Ya’akov receives a divine prophecy while he sleeps at the place which he calls Beth-el, adds to making him the high quality Patriarch he has been and is. A ladder was telescoped downward from heaven. Hashem stood at the top of it. And angels were climbing up and climbing down. In this dream G-d gave to Ya’akov the promise He had proclaimed to Avraham.

And Ya’akov recognizes a principle which helps him to explain the presence of Hashem on earth in the same way we are to understand G-d’s earthly presence. Whenever people see G-d on earth it is this “telescoped” version of Hashem in heaven. Whether it is Hashem who visits Avraham in Beresheet chapter 18, or Hashem in this dream, or Yeshua, it is Hashem who is One and who will bring peace on earth.

The way Yitzchak and Ya’akov find their wives says something important about the way people should go about this. In Yitzchak’s case neither he nor his wife to be were involved. Yitzchak’s father used a spiritual method and both Yitzchak and his future wife did not initiate something which could have caused a problem. They were not in G-d’s way. In the situation of Ya’akov he went to Rachel and kissed her.

She responded by running to her father, instead of returning the kiss or being offended by it. In both situations I believe those involved knew that Hashem was the conductor of the process. And in both situations the men and the women did not show any impertinence (vrijpostigheid in Dutch), which would have prevented Hashem from working out His plan.

The father of Rachel deceives both Ya’akov and his own daughter by exchanging her for his oldest daughter, Leah. The girls have no say in this. They had a father, Laban, who was trying to destroy the Jewish people, as we mention at Pesach. The art of living these girls have developed has been that they were able to shake off this parental contamination in order to lead lives which supported the basis of the Jewish people. The example of these two women is worth to be followed.

Shabbat shalom from Jerusalem,
Lion S. Erwteman, Rosh Kehillat Beth Yeshua,
Amsterdam, Holland