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Parashah 6: Vayetze
("He Went Out")

by Michael Bugg

Torah:  B’resheit (Genesis) 28:10-32:3(2)

Haftarah:  Hoshea (Hosea) 11:7-12:12(11)(Sephardic), 12:13(12)-14:10(9)(Ashkenazi)

B’rit Chadasha:  Luke 21:20-36

Note:  Our commentary below follows the Sephardic reading.

The Theme

Just as the lives of Isaac and Joseph parallel that of the Messiah, the life of Jacob parallels that of the nation that would bear his name:  Israel.  Like Israel, Jacob was given a promise by God.   Like Israel, he did not trust God’s promise but yielded to his mother’s urge to take his birthright by his own action, sinning against his father in the process.  And like Israel, as a result he was forced to leave the Land of promise.

However, despite our many sins against Him and the necessity of punishing us for them, God has always proclaimed His love for and fidelity to both the houses of Israel.  Even when Jacob was fleeing the Land because of his sin, the Eternal One reiterated the Covenant promises to him.  Even as Jacob tended Laban’s sheep and was repeatedly cheated, the Holy One blessed him with flocks, wives, and children.  And when the time was right, the Holy Lord pushed Jacob into returning to the Land.

When Yeshua rode into Jerusalem, He wept over the city, knowing that despite the large numbers of people greeting Him with palm branches that the majority of Israel was not ready to accept Him as King (Luke 19:41-44).  However, when He prophesied the fall of the Temple and the removal of the Jewish people from the Land, He also promised that there would be a day when the “time of the Gentiles” would run its course and Israel would be liberated and the kingdom restored to her (Acts 1:6ff).




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