Vayetze: God Starts At Home

The ordinary acts we practice every day at home are of more importance to the soul than their simplicity might suggest. -Thomas Moore

Jacob departs from his parents. He travels to Haran to establish a family, a home. He travels empty-handed. He stops for the night and has a divine revelation in the midst of his dream. He sees a staircase with its feet in the ground yet reaching the heavens. Angels ascend and descend. God speaks to him, giving him encouragement and making promises.

Jacob wakes up, startled and amazed by the revelation and the realization that he is in a holy place. He takes a rock, anoints it with oil and declares it the House of God (Bet El).

Rabbi Hirsch on this scene in Genesis 28 states the following:

“Jacob goes forth in order to establish a Jewish home, and to this end he takes with him nothing except his own person, the qualities inherent in his personality. This fact is introduced at this point in the narrative, for everything that follows is concerned solely with the establishment of that home. For Jacob was the first to declare that God must be sought, above all, within the home. He was the first to articulate the lofty concept, “the house of God,” which simply means that the place within which the souls of man grow and flourish, and to which in turn brings all that he has accomplished and transforms into life-building activity, is the greatest and nearest place where God may be found and revealed.”

May we have and build homes with God.

Shabbat Shalom,

Ben-Tzion

Dedication

To Yehuda and Hadar of Krakow on their marriage.

About the Author
Ben-Tzion Spitz is the former Chief Rabbi of Uruguay and a candidate for the Knesset for the Zehut party. He is the author of three books of Biblical Fiction and hundreds of articles and stories dealing with biblical themes. Ben-Tzion is a graduate of Yeshiva University and received his Master’s in Mechanical Engineering from Columbia University.
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