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Dvar Torah: Parshat Vayetze

Rabbi Alexander Tsykin

"If not now, when?" -- Hillel

This week as Ya'akov leaves Israel, he passed through Beit El. The Midrash informs us that actually this was Jerusalem, called here Beit El, literally the house of G-d. When Ya'akov passed though, he realised that this was the place where Avraham had bound Yitzchak, where Avraham and Yitzchak had prayed, and where they had succeeded in connecting to G-d in the most meaningful of ways. Immediately, he decided to stop and pray, even though he was on his way somewhere else, and even though he would presumably want to reach Charan as soon as possible.

Ya'akov took the opportunity as it was presented to him and made use of it. He prayed, slept and built an altar in the holiest of places, and as a result, had an experience which he would remember and keep close for the rest of his life.

We should learn from Ya'akov and take advantage of every opportunity which comes about, especially when it touches upon our relationship with G-d.

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