-- Chapter from Darash Moshe II -- Parashas Vayeitzei Chapter from Darash Moshe II -- Parashas Vayeitzei
Hello. Sign in to get personalized recommendations.
Your Account
Order Status
Customer Service
View Cart Checkout
Home Books Audio Software Judaica
ArtScroll Classics   |    Browse Categories   |    Best Sellers   |    The App  |   New Releases   |   Future Releases   |   Recommendations
ArtScroll Gift Finder
Privacy Policy
To unsubscribe, click here
Shop By Item Number  
Request A Catalog  
Siddur / Prayer Books  
Chumash / Torah  
Tanach / Bible  
Daily Dose of Torah  
Kosher By Design Series  
Passover Haggadahs  
Interlinear Series  
Tehillim / Psalms  
Rubin Prophets  
Torah Reader's Tikkun  
Foreign Language Editions  
Rashi & Ramban  
Children's Titles  
All Categories  
Gift Certificates  
Browse By Category  
Best Sellers  
New Releases  
Back In Print  
Browse by Author  
Browse by Title  
Schottenstein Talmud Bavli  
Schottenstein Talmud Yerushalmi  
Kleinman Ed. A Daily Dose of Torah  
Edmond J. Safra French Talmud  
Schottenstein Ed. Book of Mitzvos  
Click for ArtScroll Gift Certificates
Sample Chapters  
Parashah Talk  
Click to find a Hebrew Bookstore near you

  Parashas Vayeitzei from
Darash Moshe II
A selection of Rabbi Moshe Feinstein's choice comments on the Torah.

By Rabbi Moshe Feinstein  Rabbi Eliezer Eisenberg  Rabbi Yisroel Weiss  Rabbi Yosaif Asher Weiss 

Other Available Chapters
Parashas Shemini 
Parashas Emor 
Parashas Beha'alosecha 

Parashas Vayeitzei

Yaakov awoke from his sleep and said, “Surely Hashem is in this place and I did not know!” (28:16).

   For what purpose did Yaakov mention this seemingly insignificant fact? Rashi explains that Yaakov’s intent was: Had I known, I would not have slept in a holy place such as this. This is very difficult to understand. The Gemara tells us (Chullin 91b) that Hashem caused the sun to set early in order to cause Yaakov to sleep in this particular spot (Chullin 91b). The Talmud further teaches that the stones Yaakov had placed surrounding his head miraculously joined, forming one large stone. As the verse narrates, it was during this sleep that Yaakov merited receiving a prophecy from Hashem, as well as a promise of protection during his numerous travels. From all of these miraculous occurrences it should have been clear to Yaakov that it was the will of Hashem that he should sleep in this spot. Why, then, would Yaakov say that had he known of Hashem’s presence he would have done otherwise?

   The proper way to understand Yaakov’s words is as follows. Yaakov thought that one is only considered to be serving Hashem when involved in spiritual pursuits such as tefillah and Torah study. Involvement in physical matters such as eating and sleeping, however, could not be considered serving Hashem, since they are not themselves mitzvos.

   By performing miracles and causing Yaakov to sleep (a purely physical activity) on the future site of the Beis Hamikdash, Hashem sought to teach Yaakov that this is not the case. Hashem gave His Torah to human beings knowing that they are creations whose physical needs must be satisfied to facilitate their continuing ability to fulfill His commandments. It is His Divine will that these physical activities should be sanctified through their use as tools assisting people in their service of Hashem. In this way, these activities can be raised to the level where they themselves become the fulfillment of Hashem’s will.

   It was this that Yaakov alluded to when he exclaimed “ and I did not know.” Yaakov exclaimed that prior to being taught this lesson, he did not know that a physical act such as sleeping could be sanctified to such a degree. Rashi (quoted above) explains that commensurate with Yaakov’s prior understanding, had he known of the holiness of the site he would not have thought it proper to sleep there.

   Taking note of this lesson, Yaakov said that the stone upon which he rested his head while sleeping should be a Beis Elokim. It was Yaakov’s wish that the stone should serve as a reminder to the fact that a Beis Elokim is not only a place where one is involved in Torah and mitzvos. Even the seemingly mundane act of sleeping must be done with the proper intentions — so that a sleeping place, too, can reach the level of Beis Elokim.

© Copyright 2008. All rights reserved.