05 December 2019

Going Home

8 Kislev 5780
Erev Shabbat Kodesh
Parashat Vayeitzei
Then [Jacob] heard the words of Laban's sons, saying, "Jacob has taken all that belonged to our father, and from that which belonged to our father he amassed all this wealth."  Jacob also noticed Laban's disposition that, behold, it was not toward him as in earlier days.

And Hashem said to Jacob, "Return to the land of your fathers and to your native land, and I will be with you."  (Bereishit 31.1-3)
CommentaryAnd I will be with you.  When you return home, I will be with you, but as long as you remain here with the unclean Laban, My Presence will not rest on you (Rashi).  This removal of God's protection, as evidenced by the displeasure of Laban and his sons, was designed to provoke Jacob to leave Charan and return to Eretz Yisrael (Malbim). 
There really is no place like home, and nothing makes you feel the truth of that statement quite like overstaying your welcome in someone else's home. Even when the someone is family and they love you and you love them, there comes a point when you just have to be under your own vine and fig tree.  

It's to our father Ya'aqov's great credit that he was sensitive to the hints and wasted no time getting out of what was fast becoming an untenable situation.  He didn't need to be told twice.

Soon, we will once again follow the course of our father Ya'aqov's life after returning home to Eretz Yisrael, and we will see, once again, that coming home did not mean an end to his troubles.  He just traded one set of troubles for another.  But, in Eretz Yisrael, Hashem would be right there with him through the troubles.

From this we can learn that we don't come home to Eretz Yisrael in order to avoid problems, or in order to rest on our laurels and enjoy life. We come home because Hashem, our Abba, is calling us.  He's telling each one of us, "Come home, son/daughter, and we'll spend time together - I'll be with you."  Who could ever pass that up?  Who could be so cold as to turn their back on such an offer?

Our father Ya'aqov was just watching and listening and waiting for that call.  He was hoping for it and praying for it - that signal to come home.  That's why when it came, he wasted no time.  He was more than ready to go. 

He knew, like we do, that everything up until our arrival back home in Eretz Yisrael has just been practice.  Now, the real work begins.  Only in Eretz Yisrael can our destiny be realized and our mission be fulfilled.