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Friday, November 24

The Weekly Shtikle - Vayeitzei

At the beginning of this week's parsha, Yaakov leaves his home to Charan where he would spend the next 20 years. In his famous dream, he sees a ladder with angels ascending and descending. Rashi (28:12) writes that the angels of Eretz Yisrael were leaving him because they could not leave Eretz Yisrael and the angels of chutz la'aretz took over.

 

At the end of the parsha (32:2) we find another changing of the guard as Yaakov prepares to return to Eretz Yisrael. However, he has not yet fully returned. He is clearly on the eastern side of the Yardein. How were the angels permitted to leave the boundaries of Eretz Yisrael to greet Yaakov as he returned?

 

Shaarei Aharon quotes an even stronger question from Panei'ach Raza. In next week's parsha, Yaakov sends angels (32:4 see Rashi) to Eisav. According to the Midrash, these angels were from the angels that he met at the end of this week's parsha. So these angels were sent to Sei'ir which is even further from Eretz Yisrael. Panei'ach Raza concludes that since Sei'ir was from the three nations – Keini, Kenizi and Kadmoni – that were promised to Avraham, but reserved for the end of days, it was considered part of Eretz Yisrael and the angels were allowed to go there. Charan, of course, was not within any boundaries of Eretz Yisrael so the angels certainly could not have followed him there at the beginning of the parsha.

 

However, Sha'arei Aharon raises an issue with this answer from Panei'ach Raza. The gemara (Bava Basra 91a) discusses the unfortunate circumstances that befell Elimelech and his family (Megillas Rus.) It is clear from the gemara that their trials and tribulations were punishment for having left Eretz Yisrael to go to chutz la'aretz. However, they only went to Moav which would have been within the "safe zone" that Panei'ach Raza defined. Why then would they be punished?

 

Sha'arei Aharon suggests that the three nations promised to Avraham were not ultimately part of our original inheritance of the land only as a result of the sin of the spies. From Avraham until the generation of the midbar, those nations were considered part of Eretz Yisrael. Only afterward was it considered chutz la'aretz. Therefore, the angels in Yaakov's time were permitted to travel to those nations. Elimelech, however, was not.

 

Have a good Shabbos.

Eliezer Bulka
WeeklyShtikle@weeklyshtikle.com

Shtikle Blog Weekly Roundup:
Dikdukian: From his Sleep
Dikdukian: Different Types of Kissing
Dikdukian: Come on, People - Part II
AstroTorah: Did Yaakov Leave the Solar System by R' Ari Storch
AstroTorah: Yaakov's Lesson on Zemanei HaYom by R' Ari Storch


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