This week’s Parasha of Vayeitzei has a concurring them of stones. Yaakov takes from the stones of the place where he rests and they fuse into one stone. Subsequent to his dream and HaShem’s promise to him of children and inheriting Eretz Yisroel, Yaakov takes that stone and consecrates it as a mizbeiach. When Yaakov arrives in Charan to find a wife he encounters a well that is covered by a stone. Yaakov questions the shepherds as to why they have not drawn water for the sheep and when Rachel, his future wife, arrives at the well. Yaakov single-handedly roiled off the stone to give the sheep to drink. Then at the end of the parasha we find that after pursing Yaakov and his family, Lavan makes a treaty with Yaakov, and Yaakov takes a stone and raises it as a monument. Yaakov then instructs his sons to gather stones and they made a mound, and Lavan named it Yegar Sahadusa and Yaakov referred to the stone as Gal-ed.
The Mesillas Yesharim writes that the stones that fused into one as Yaakov’s headrest were a reflection of the idea that the Tzaddik elevates everything around him, even the inanimate. The Ramban, citing the Medrash, writes that the stone on the well and the three flocks of sheep next to the well, allude to the Bais HaMikdash and the thrice a year pilgrimage to Yerushalayim. The removal of the stone symbolizes the drawing of Divine Inspiration on the Festivals, and the placement of the stone upon the well alludes to the removal of the Divine Spirit until the subsequent festival.
We can suggest that the stone alludes to father and son relationship, as it is said (Bereishis 49:24) מִשָּׁם רֹעֶה אֶבֶן יִשְׂרָאֵל, from there he shepherded the stone of Israel, and Rashi writes that the word אֶבֶן forms an acrostic for the words אב ובן , father and son, alluding to Yaakov and his sons. According to this explanation we can understand Yaakov taking from twelve stones as a sign of uniting the sons of Yaakov. The sole focus of Yaakov and his wives was to create the Jewish People, and they did not allow any challenge or obstacle to prevent them from their mission. Thus, when Yaakov saw Rachel, he removed the stone in a miraculous fashion, not allowing the building of the Jewish People to be delayed for even a moment. When Lavan sought to destroy Yaakov with his diabolical schemes, Yaakov again raised the stone and called upon his sons to remain strong, even in the face of a treacherous enemy.
HaShem should give us the courage, every day, to ward off our enemies, by remaining strong to our mission, the building and continued unity of the Jewish People.
Have a “ Strong as a Rock” Shabbos!