Parshat Vayeitzei By: Rabbi Moshe Goodman, Kollel Ohr Shlomo, Hebron בס”ד
לשכנו תדרשו Inviting the Holy Presence in Our Holy Land
F=MA (Newton’s Second Law of Motion)
Newton’s Second Law of Motion states: “In an inertial frame of reference, the vector sum of the forces F on an object is equal to the mass m of that object multiplied by the acceleration a of the object: F = ma.” Spiritually speaking we see a similar “law” based on the verse “They go from strength to strength, till each appears before God in Zion. (Tehilim 84, 7)” “Going from” implies movement and velocity, and “from strength” implies that this movement is attached to some concrete material, i.e mass, for the term used for strength is “hayil” which also can mean material possession (see Yehezkel 28, 4) (or an army). “To strength” implies that this movement and velocity itself is increasing, i.e acceleration, the rate of increase of velocity. The Kabbalists explain that the union of spiritual components is called “multiplication.” Therefore when material, i.e mass, is united with increasing movement, then this is signified by saying that mass is multiplied by acceleration. This union is equated with level of force, which is hinted to in the words of the verse “till each appears before God in Zion.” In the past we have mentioned that “God in Zion” refers to His Holy Presence prevalent in Zion. Amazingly, the first place that the term “koach”, force appears alone with no suffixes or prefixes in the humash, a matter considered significant by the Sages and commentators, is when Moshe Rabeinu’s plead for the greatening of the power of Hashem spelled “A-donai” which is a name of Hashem that connotes His Majesty as manifest through His Holy Presence, according to the Kabbalists. In the other words we may say that “force” in this equation in a spiritual context connotes the spiritual “power given to the Holy Presence,” which is prevalent in Zion, Land (the entirety of The Land is associated with the Temple of Jerusalem – see Hulin 92) and City (when Zion is more specifically associated with Jerusalem), the resting places of the Holy Presence.
Therefore, we may also say that when we take our material possession and direct it in an ever-increasing spiritual movement, i.e acceleration, towards the service of Hashem, especially towards Zion, then the “power/force” of the Holy Presence in Zion is especially increased.
These ideas can be seen at the end of this week’s parsha when it says, “Now as Yacob went on his way, the angels of God met him. Yacob said when he saw them, “This is God’s camp.” So he named that place Mahanaim.” Our Sages remark that the angels here come to meet Yakov instead of him meeting them in the beginning of this parsha. Also we should note that the angels here are described as a “camp” indicating a kind of “army” or “forces” of angels. Our Sages say that the reason for the difference between the beginning of this parsha and its end in regard to the encounter with the angels is due to the fact that Yakov at this point had achieved a great spiritual feat of building a family and household through his constant spiritual work. In other words, through Yakov’s material work at Lavan’s household for twenty years, i.e “mass”, united with, i.e “multiplied by”, constant spiritual growth/movement, i.e acceleration, Yakov achieved spiritual “force” – the “forces of angels greeting him,” at Mahanayim, the entrance of the Land of Israel, “Land of the God of Zion.” Here we should note that this unification signified by mutiplication of spiritual components is clearly seen in Hebron and Maarat Hamachpela, where Yakov grew up and was also heading to in his return to the land in this parsha, for hebron means unity (hibur) and Machpela means multiplication (kefel).
Real Stories from the Holy Land
“In Israel’s Independence War we will point to three means of identifying divine intervention: incredible timing, astoundingly foolish decisions on the part of our enemies, and events which occur against all expectations.
In regard to timing, we will note the astounding decision of Joseph Stalin to support the founding of the State of Israel. Stalin facilitated the sale of an extensive amount of arms from Czechoslovakia at a time when the United Nations, with the strong support of the United States, imposed a strict arms embargo on the sale of military weapons to Middle East combatants. The timing of the beginning of the arrival of these weapons was absolutely essential to the survival of the Jewish community in Palestine. On April 1, 1948, the weapons from Czechoslovakia arrived just in time to enable the Haganah to implement a proper plan that would save the lives of more than six hundred thousand Jews who were living in Eretz Yisrael. As a direct result of the Czech arms shipments, the Haganah in the coming six weeks was able to defeat the Arab militias and secure the country to the extent that it stood a chance to survive the onslaught of five regular Arab armies. Moreover, the flow of Czech arms during the beginning months of the Arab invasion enabled Israel to deflect the Arab armies’ invasion and eventually win the war.”
Other types of Divine intervention will be continued b”h in the following weeks…