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Vayetze -a zaddik needs people of caliber to appreciate his value.

The Torah tells us that Yaakov left Be’er Sheva for Charan (Bereishit [Genesis] 28:10).

Rashi asks: “Why tell us where is he is leaving from (we know that he was in Be’er Sheva)? It seems unimportant to remind us that he left Be’er Sheva; Rashi replies that the import of this statement is to teach that “yetziat tzaddik min ha-ir oseh roshem” [When an important person leaves town his departure leaves an impression] In our Parsha, Vayaitzay, Yaakov leaves Be’er Sheva and travels to Charan... The verse stresses Yaakov’s departure as the absence of a zaddik makes an impression: it leaves a void. Keli Yakar asks: “What about Avraham and Yitzchak and their travels? How come Chazal [our Sages] never made this point about their impact? He answers that despite their (Avraham and Yitzchak) greatness, -there was no “roshem” [impact] when Avraham and Yitzchak travelled from place to place because the people they left behind never appreciated their presence to begin with.

In order for a Tzaddik’s presence to be appreciated – let alone missed – the people in that town or place need to be of a certain caliber. When Yaakov left Be’er Sheva, his parents, Yitzchak and Rivka, were still there and they – and their household – were conscious of the loss of Yaakov. The Keli Yakar thus transfers the object of the compliment to Yaakov implied in Rashi’s statement from Yaakov to include the people he left behind.

Walt Whitman’ claimed that “to have great poets there must be great audiences too”. In the same way, a zaddik can only be esteemed if people surrounding him are of high enough caliber to appreciate his value.

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