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“And Yaakov dwelt… These are the generations of Yaakov, Yosef was seventeen years old.” (37:1-2)

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Rashi explains that Yaakov desired to dwell peacefully, but Yosef’s troubles beset him. Rashi’s statement reflects the tzaddik’s awesome sense of responsibility for continued growth. He constantly maintained the awareness that this world is the world of action, while ultimate repose is in the world-to-come. The Moreshes Moshe applies this concept to the importance of continued education and development, never being content to rest upon one’s past achievements. One would imagine that Yaakov had suffered enough in his ascension to the position of Patriarch. He would finally be able to relax and study without the worry that had been his constant companion. vukac cahk cegh aec – No! This cannot be – if one brings children into the world he must watch them and teach them. That early Jewish family was broken by strife; at a time when there should have been unity, there was discord. The brothers, instead of joining together to fight against the “dreamer” in their midst, chose to dispose of him.


One cannot artificially create unity by disposing of dissenting elements. To the contrary, these dissidents are quickly transformed into martyrs. We have never learned a lesson from that early incident. The only way to develop is to create positive conditions. The various “isms” which have been formed in Jewish communities today are the result of our inability to cope with dissension; we erroneously extol our past successes, while disregarding present inroads made upon tradition. Indifference is perhaps the most destructive force acting upon Torah institutions. No power in the world can save the Jew from his own carelessness and neglect, whether it be in religious matters or in any area of endeavor. If we are to ensure a vibrant and holy Am Yisrael, it will only be through the spiritual maintenance of our Torah institutions, our communities, and our own families. Our mandate is never completed. Every one must seek to create a light that will be maintained continuously until we merit the light of Moshiach.

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