Vayetzei

“And He Went Out”

וַיֵּצֵא

Genesis 28:10-32:3

Summary:  This Torah portion covers quite a lot of territory, in fact its within this portion that we read of the building of the majority of Jacob’s family!  Previously, in last week’s portion of Toldot, Jacob receives the birthright and the blessings which provokes the anger of his older twin brother Esau.  Due to this Jacob is sent to Rebekah’s family, his uncle Laban’s house, in order to take a wife and wait till the anger of his brother is past.  Upon this journey, Jacob has some very significant encounters though with the God of his fathers!  At a location called Luz, later renamed Bethel, Jacob sees a ladder, the gate of heaven, with angels ascending and descending!  It is here that he makes a vow to serve Yawheh, and also institutes the 10% tithe that He will give to Yahweh.  He continues on his journey to Haran, and it here that he is welcomed into the house of Laban, and meets the 2 women that he eventually marries, Rachel and Leah.  As most know, it was Jacob’s intent to marry Rachel, working 7 years for Laban in order to earn her, yet in a twist of events it is Leah that is presented, and Jacob must serve double time to receive Rachel as well.  Jacob serves the time and receives both Leah and Rachel as wives, as well as their maidservants Bilhah and Zilpah.  The family begins to be built with Leah giving birth to Reuben, Simeon, Levi, Judah, Issachar, & Zebulon, as well as a daughter named Dinah.  Rachel gives birth to Joseph while here.  Bilhah gives birth to Dan & Naphtali.  And Zilpah gives birth to Gad and Asher.  Upon the building of his house Jacob chooses to return to his rightful homeland, not without having to deal with the trickery of his father-in-law Laban.  And just as his journey started with an encounter with Yahweh, it closes out with one as well with the messengers of Yahweh appearing unto him at a location called Machanayim.

Torah Tidbits:

*This is the 7th Torah portion of the year.  It’s divided into 7 readings.  And 7 is seen throughout the parshah itself with Jacob having to work 7 years for his wife, he leaves on his journey from Beer Sheba (“Well of Sevens”), and he flees from Jacob for 7 days!

*Jacob sees the ladder at the place known as Luz – the sages that a bone exists at the top of the cervical vertebrae called the Luz bone, it is supposedly indestructible and thus the “seed of resurrection”.

*The ladder itself was a type of Messiah who in John 1:51 identifies and makes this connection – “And he saith unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Hereafter ye shall see heaven open, and the angels of God ascending and descending upon the Son of man.”

*The numerical value of Cullam/ladder = 130, the same as Sinai!

*Prophecy at Mahanaim – it’s interesting that we’re told Jacob and his family camp here in Genesis 32:2 on their way to encounter Esau.  In Hebrew this name literally translates as two camps – it seems to be a prophecy depicting how directly after this Jacob’s family would be split into two camps, Leah’s children and Rachel’s children.  Leah and her children were to go first and then at the end was Rachel & Joseph.  This same type is still seen today!  It is Leah’s children in the land facing Esau, the house has been divided into two camps and the children of Rachel (Joseph’s house) has been split off in order to preserve the house.  But together they’ll be joined again!

We hope that this information becomes tools in your hands to help you study to show yourself approved this week!  Stay tuned and join us this Shabbat to hear what we’ve dug out of this portion, shalom aleichem!