Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Taking Yaakov out of Be'er Sheva

Art: Evelyn Taylor

Yaakov left Be'er Sheva and headed toward Charan [Vayeitzei 28:10]

Rashi comments that the verse could have just read "And Yaakov went to Charan" - why does it mention his departure? It is teaching us that the departure of a righteous person from a place makes an impression. For at the time that a righteous person is in a city, he is its magnificence, he is its splendor, and he is its grandeur. Once he has departed from there, its magnificence [hodah] has gone away [panah], its splendor [zeevah] has gone away, and its grandeur [hadarah] has gone away.

Rashi's words are alluded to in the verse by way of gematria: If we take "Yaakov out of Be'er Sheva" - that is, if we subtract the numerical value of the word Yaakov [182] from Be'er Sheva [575], we are left with the number 393 - the exact numerical value of the words: panah hodah zeevah u'hadarah - "its magnificence, splendor, and grandeur have gone away."

Written by Rabbi Y. Bronstein

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