After receiving a heavenly vision in a dream, Yaakov is prepared to continue on his journey to the Land of Lavan, his uncle and soon to be his nemesis. It is said (Bereishis 29:1), וַיִּשָּׂא יַעֲקֹב רַגְלָיו וַיֵּלֶךְ אַרְצָה בְנֵי קֶדֶם, so Yaakov lifted his feet and went to the land of the easterners. Rashi cites the Medrash (Bereishis Rabbah 70:7) that states that Yaakov, upon being informed by HaShem that he would be safeguarded, felt light in his heart and this was the catalyst to travel. One must wonder what is unique about the words וַיִּשָּׂא יַעֲקֹב רַגְלָיו, and Yaakov lifted his feet. The commentators write that normally one’s feet lift the body, and here it is said that Yaakov lifted his feet, implying that his feet lifted his body. This explanation, however, is difficult, as we find other instances where the Torah states (Vayikra 9:22) וַיִּשָּׂא אַהֲרֹן אֶת יָדָיו אֶל הָעָם וַיְבָרֲכֵם, Aharon raised his hands toward the people and blessed them, and we do not say that Aharon’s hands lifted his body. What is unique about Yaakov’s journey that prompted the Medrash to interpret the verse in this manner?
To answer these questions we can suggest that the word נשא has other connotations, such as sharpening (See Rashi Bereishis 27:3). Yaakov had just concealed himself in the Study Hall for fourteen years of uninterrupted Torah study, and now he was prepared to receive a Divine Revelation. In the dream HaShem informed Yaakov that He would watch him throughout his journeys, both Yaakov and his descendants. Upon receiving such wonderful news and having had a “sharpened” sense of realization that HaShem will protect him, Yaakov’s heart rejoiced and elevated him to newer heights of ecstasy. Thus, his heart truly rejoiced and elevated the rest of him to carry on his journey in an effortless manner.
HaShem should grant us the sharpened sense of realization that He is constantly caring for our every need and we should merit the ultimate joy of Moshiach Tzidkeinu, speedily, in our days!
Have a SHARPENED and HEIGHTENED Shabbos!
Erev Shabbos Kodesh Vayeitzei 5777 Inspiration
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