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Baal Shem Tov on Vayeitzei

  1. When God needs to punish someone first the attribute of trust (in God) is removed (for one who trusts in God as the verse states, is surrounded by kindness) hence one must always pray for the attribute of trust.

The Degel Machane Efraim writes: My grandfather said, that God doesn’t send suffering, unless preceded with sending the illness of sadness / bitterness.  

  • Sometimes a soul from Atzilus (the highest of heavens) comes to this world  – and when he sees how lacking in respect people can be for the great and Holy God, he strengthens his own respect and thanks God that he is not like these – The wise shall take to heart.. – when Jacob was traveling it says he put the stones by his head – for he was saying that he is grateful not to be like a rockhead, that doesn’t praise or acknowledge God.

  • “Jacob saw a ladder from the ground to the heaven and angels of God were going up and down”

    the Gematriah of Sulam (ladder) is the same as money (mamoin.)

Money begins in the ground, however some people through it ascend to heaven, others it is a source of suffering.

  1. The Baal Shem Tov brought angels down from heaven to earth – he didn’t look at them saying – they obviously belong in heaven – but I wish to learn from them, how they serve God, maybe I can learn from their manner.

In Kesser Shem Tov it explains that the soul must learn from the angels – for the angels are very alert, energetic and immediately fulfill Divine demands.

  • The reason we say “our God, the God of our fathers Avrohom, Yitzchol and Yaakov” is to teach us that it is not enough that He is the God of our fathers, but we individually must research, discover both God and the correct way to serve – as did Yaakov and Yitzchok.

  • Avrohom Avinue was a man of love, as such he realized that this world was built through a Creator’s love – Yitzchok understood from his father but wished to dig deeper and he came to understand God-Himself, hence had tremendous fear/awe/reverence – but Yaakov understood with his mind’s eye that it must be that there is an intermediary force – for total love or total strictness would not allow the world to be (total love would allow evil, and total strictness, no free choice..) so he understood there is a middle path called mercy – and this is why Yaakov is “the chosen of the forefathers” – and this is how the world continually – and we, function.

  • “The land where you are sleeping, to you will I give” – Rashi comments that God folded the entire Eretz Yisroel under him.

Explains the Baal Shem Tov, that he would not need to go through it all, to elevate its sparks, for they all were there.

  • The Baal Shem Tov explains that the journey a person makes in order to get their livelihood, is because sparks of Godliness that belong to his soul must be elevated (and they are in that locale) but for Yaakov, Hashem folded Israel, so he could elevate them all simultaneously.
     
  • A person normally has to tire themselves by going (whether on business trips) etc. to collect all of the sparks they need to elevate – however Yaakov who is the attribute of truth, which is the beginning, middle and end, was able to do them all simultaneously.

  •  Yaakov says “but this is but the House of God” – the meaning of this is, as we know that Yaakov spent 14 years studying Torah in the Yeshivah of Sheim and Eiver – but as we know, Torah is but the gateway to fear of God – when he arrived on Mount Moriah, he sensed such an awe of God as never before – hence he realized, this is the Beis Hamikdosh – and he said “This shall be my home” – in other words, everything I did until now was to prepare me for living with fear of God.

  • “And God will be my God” said Jacob – this means both for the good and the bad – a Tzaddik when bad occurs to him he considers, “maybe this was due to my sins,” and when good occurs to him… “maybe this is decreasing my merit” (this is very profound, as that way a person can always be positive, not too high nor low.)
     
  • “And Rochel was of beautiful appearance” and Yaakov loved her – this is because Yaakov had the attribute of Tifferes (beauty,) hence whenever he saw something beautiful he said, “if a physical thing (person etc.) is so beautiful, how much more so God.”

  • Lavan Chased after Yaakov – because Yaakov (who extracted many sparks of Torah in the deep dark Kelipah of Lavan) had to receive the final verses in the Torah.. of how he chased after him.

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