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Vayetze 5761
December 03-09, 2000 by Reb Yosef

God's Blessings on Jacob and Us - Our Blessings on the World

 Yaakov Avinu (our Father Jacob) was told something very important.  This something has blessed us and, when we live up to God's commandments, blesses the entire world.  In Parashat Vayetizei at Bereshit (Genesis) Perek Chav-Chet (Chapter 28), pasuk yud-daled (verse 14), it says: 

14. And thy seed shall be as the dust of the earth, and thou shalt spread abroad to the west, and to the east, and to the north, and to the south, and through thee all the families of the earth shall be blessed, and through thy seed.

The Torah was written over 3,000 years ago.  Yet, here we see God telling Yaakov Avinu that we will be spread abroad to the four corners of the earth.  And of course, this indeed happened about 1,800 years ago.

Just as important, is the message that all the families of the earth shall be blessed by Yaakov's children, namely us.  So this brings up a question?  Are all the families of the earth blessed through us all the time?  The answer, according to our sages, is yes provided that two conditions are met.  The first condition is that other people bless us and treat us properly.  The second condition, which is even more important, is that we keep God's Torah - His Laws. 

When we are keeping the Torah and doing mitzvot, we are fulfilling the mission that God gave us.  One mitzvah that is very important is to treat all other Jews with respect - this is called Ahavat Yisrael.  Literally, it means to love other Jews.  This is a very difficult mitzvah but a very important one.  Even though we may not agree with how other people live or behave, if they are Jews, we have to be respectful of them because God commanded us to be.


Translations in Torah Portions of the week are partially taken from the ArtScroll Stone Edition Chumash and from Rav Samson Raphael Hirsch Chumash

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