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A noticeable absence - Vayetse

Thursday, 26 November, 2020 - 8:47 am

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What can you tell an employee who feels that no one will notice if he is absent for a couple of days? Or a child who feels that his absence will not be felt if he misses a few days of school? It is a very difficult feeling…

In this week’s Parasha Vayetse, Jacob leaves from Beer Sheva to go to Charan, to his relatives. He hopes to find a wife there. He also wants to escape from his brother Esau, who was furious that Jacob took the blessings of their father and wants to kill him. Why does the Torah mention that Jacob left from Beer Sheva? Telling us that he left for Charan, was enough for us to understand that he left his previous city to go to the other one.

Our Sages explain that the reason the Torah mentions it, is to tell us that the departure of Jacob was felt in the city. All the inhabitants of Beer Sheva felt that Jacob was no longer amongst them. Indeed, Isaac and Rebecca were still there but they were elderly and did not interact that much with the rest of the population. Their presence was important in the city, but not as much as the presence of Jacob. Jacob was active in the city. He did not care only about his spiritual growth, but he spread light and knowledge in the whole town.

Let us follow Jacob’s example, so we can know that if we leave, our absence will be felt. Our good actions and our positive influence will be missed by our surrounding. Let us think which lives we can influence by showing our care, for example with a phone call. And let us share our knowledge with our friends and family.

The way to be noticed in a positive sense is to take initiative and be active.

Shabbat Shalom,

Hanna

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