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Vayishlach-Don’t leave things behind and don’t be embarrassed to be tidy

 

Don’t leave things behind and don’t be embarrassed to be tidy

 The night before meeting his brother Esav, while alone in the dark, Yaakov grapples with a strange and mysterious visitor.

Yaakov was left alone; and a man wrestled with him until daybreak.

Who was the mysterious assailant?

According to Chazal as the morning star arose, Yaakov Avinu wrestled with:” a man” who was the ” Sar shel Esav” the angel representing Esav in heaven. This occurred after Yaakov went back to retrieve small vessels (“pachim ketanim”) which he had left behind.( Rashi on Bereishis 32:25)

Was Yaakov so materialistic that put his life in danger to retrieve some inexpensive earthenware vessels? If so why?

The Talmud  in Chulin (91)explains that tzaddikim value their material possessions even more than their lives. . This is a remarkable statement and is explained in the Talmud as meaning that in no way would they wish to use someone else’s possessions and were especially concerned not to become involved in theft Tzadikim treat their possessions with care, so they should not even dream about theft…

The Alter from Kelem. Rav Simcha Zisel, had a different take on why tzadikim are careful with their possessions. The tzadikim look after their possessions, because they know that if they lose them, they need to spend time searching for them and if they are not found they will have to lose even more time shopping for replacement items. To tzadikim, all this is an unnecessary and avoidable waste of time. . Sometimes shopping has to be done, but unnecessary shopping is a waste of their time and tzadikim avoid wasting their time .

If Yaakov lost the pachim ketanim he would have had to go to out and buy new ones. [They did not have supermarkets in those days – they would have to spend time making new ones]Rather than waste the time, he went back to retrieve the old ones. The Saroh Shel Esav did not understand this. He looked at Yaakov and thought that maybe Yaakov had been influenced by his time spent in Lavan’s house and become materialistic. Saroh Shel Esav said to himself “Now must be the time that is right to attack Yaakov because he has been influenced by olam hazeh [this world]. However, the angel was not successful (“Vaya’ar ki lo yachol lo“). Yaakov responds to the angel with the expression he will later tell Esav directly – Eem lavan garti, v’taryag mitzvos shamarti – I lived with Lavan, but I kept the mitzvos of the Torah.

Yaakov had not become materialistic; he did not highly value his possessions but he did place a high value the time that would be spent   to replace them

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