The Obstacle Removed By The Righteous ©

Parshas Vayeitzei
Bereishis 28:10 - 32:3

By Dr. Akiva Gamliel Belk

This study is dedicated in the loving memory of Mr. Paul Sakash, may he rest in peace.

There never seems to be an end to the obstacles! When one obstacle is conquered another one appears ...

Around the age of 77 Yaakov leaves the tents where he has been studying with Sheim and Eiver. Ha Torah tells us that he began his journey to the home of his Uncle Lavan. Upon arriving in the vicinity, “And [Yaakov] looked and behold a well in the field and behold there were three flocks of sheep lying beside it for from the well the flocks were watered. And the stone was great on the mouth of the well.” Bereishis 29:2

In this parsha there are many obstacles.

There was a large stone over the mouth of the well ... Bereishis 29:2

Yaakov had been traveling for a long time! He was tired! He was thirsty! He was in search of a place where he could get cool, refreshing water... From some distance Yaakov viewed this well of water. This was a very welcome sight! From a great distance he saw a well of water. Up close, however, he saw a large stone covering the well. This adequately describes the obstacles one faces... One needs water... One searches for water... One sees the form of a well at a great distance. One thinks this well contains water because sheep are lying all around it... Yet, upon arriving at the well parched and weary, one finds a large stone covering the well. From a distance it looked promising, but up close when the focus is much clearer it is difficult!!

Classmates, we have defined our need ... we have located our source ... and we clearly view the obstacle ... What’s next?

Each of us has a pack to carry. Each of us has an obstacle / obstacles. This is where we examine the old saying, “the grass looks greener on the other side.” At a distance we cannot see our neighbor’s pack but up close it is very large. At a distance others seem to be so much better off yet up close they have their obstacles also. At a distance so many areas look really good; up close they don’t look so good.

The first thing Yaakov does is to inquire from those with the problem. Where are you from? People have different approaches in dealing with obstacles depending upon their location. In this community the shepherds / laborers would wait until all the herds were gathered by the well then remove the large stone as a group.

Next Yaakov inquires, “Do you know Lavan, the son of Nachar?” In a subtle way Yaakov was curious, ‘Are these men employed by Lavan?’ It is clear that their work ethic did not meet Yaakov’s standard. “[Yaakov] said to them, ‘The day is still long, it is not yet time for the sheep to be gathered, water the sheep and go [back] to pasture them.” Bereishis 29:7

Yaakov is a righteous Jew, who I described in parshas Toldot in the lesson entitled Troubled By The Wrong Name as a man who was innocent, honest, naive, unsophisticated, complete, perfect, whole, pure, harmless.... Yaakov was a man without fault... Having said this, one must question what possessed him to jump squarely into the affairs of another country with different customs... Why does he involve himself in other people’s business affairs? Why does he order another business person’s employees around? Yaakov instructs them as if he were their administrator. Doesn’t this seem odd? He is a complete stranger to them yet he instructs them, “...water the sheep and go [back] to pasture them.”

How could a complete stranger do such a thing? What compelled Yaakov to react like this?

Yaakov observed that the sheep were not being properly cared for. He observed that those who were charged with shepherding the sheep were not following the guidelines of quality shepherding... This was wrong! This disturbed Yaakov! This would disturb any righteous person. Yaakov in so many words was questioning, ‘What are you being paid for?’

Before we discuss the shepherds’ response let me state that I discuss what righteousness is in more detail in Shuvah 101.

Ha Torah records their response. “And they said, ‘No! We cannot till all the flocks are gathered and they roll everything from Aleph to Tav of the stone from on the mouth of the well and then we can water the sheep.” Bereishis 29:8 Was this their custom? Was this just an excuse not to do their shepherding correctly? Was waiting for all the shepherds to gather an act of kindness so no shepherd or their flock would be left out?

Now classmates, Yaakov was this 77 year old man who traveled a long distance, who was tired, who was parched and weary. He stepped up to the well and removed the obstacle by himself... He then watered the sheep of Lavan.

We must wonder, How could this 77 year old man remove the obstacle by himself when it normally required all the shepherds to remove it? Was Yaakov that strong? Did he have a surge of strength? Was the stone really the obstacle or was attitude the obstacle? According to our sages Yaakov lifted the stone off as opposed to rolling it like the shepherds normally did. Our sages declare that Yaakov was an exceptionally strong man!! This is derived from the normal usage of the word Vih Gaw Lah. Ha Torah states, “[Yaakov] stepped near [the huge stone] and Vah Yaw Gehl ” {uncovered, i.e. he opened}...” “He lifted everything from Aleph to Tav of the the huge stone off...”

If Yaakov was so strong, how could he have gained such strength? Where did his great strength come from? How could he remove the obstacle by himself when other men could not? Remember his only serious workouts came from studying Ha Torah day and night in the tents at the school of Sheim and Eiver. Yaakov studied for most of his 77 years!

Let’s examine who Yaakov is. Yaakov is the grandson of Avraham Aveinu, the righteous Tzaddik, and the Matriarch Sarah who was perfect as we discussed in the article entitled, Death / Life. Yaakov is the son of the perfect sacrifice, Yitzchok, and the Matriarch Rivkah, who lived near and sought out advice from the righteous tents of learning of Sheim and Eiver. In other words, one could make the claim that Yaakov was of the proper lineage. Earlier in this parsha Hashem said to Yaakov, “I am Hashem, G-d of Avraham, your father, and G-d of Yitzchok. The land upon which you are lying, I will give to you and to your descendants...” Bereishis 28:13 Of those present only Yaakov was of the direct bloodline of Avraham / Sarah and Yitzchok / Rivkah. Flowing in his body was this righteous blood. Yaakov as a righteous person so to speak could transcend from the physical to the next level upward. He could transcend to the spiritual. We Mystically observe Yaakov’s transcending in the Gematria of the word Vah Yaw Gehl through the Gematria discipline Temuri which is a permutation of the original letters of Vah Yaw Gehl.

What is the meaning of this? What is the purpose? Classmates, just as each Hebrew letter from the word Vah Yaw Gehl {uncovered} elevates forward one level, the word Vah Yaw Gehl elevates forward a level to become two words. So what used to be Vah Yaw Gehl {uncovered} now elevates to Dawm {blood} Zahk {pure, clean, spotless, perfect, a pure soul}.

Mystically through the Gematria discipline Temuri the letters Vav, Yud, Lamid and Gimmel of Vah Yaw Gehl transcend to the next level of Zion, Chof, Mem and Dalet. From this Mystical transcendence we observe why Yaakov could easily remove the huge stone as if it were nothing. He was from the pure bloodlines of the righteous Avraham and Sarah. Yaakov was from the pure bloodlines of the righteous Yitzchok and Rivkah. Yaakov was a Tzaddik! He was a “HOLY MAN” chosen by Hashem!! Holy men like Avraham, Yitzchok and Yaakov have special ability to transcend from the present to the spiritual. They can see the end from the beginning... Miracles happen for them. They remove huge stones from the wells of water that the normal man cannot. They ask questions the normal man would fear to ask. They challenge when the normal man remains silent!

We see the elevation from Moshe’s level, the 49th level, transcending to the next level. We see the power of the righteous removing the obstacle in Vah Yaw Gehl and in the same Gematria relationship number Gaw Looi {open / opening? as in “opening” the gates of heaven, “opening” the gates of prayer... and assisting us in “discovering” Torah Spirituality...! Thank our blessed Creator!!

We observe their elevation Vah Yaw Gehl to Zahk Dawm and from Zahk Dawm to the Ha Shamayim, the Heavens... Why? Because they are Maw Lah {full} [of Torah], “overflowing” with Torah.

Next we Mystically observe the continued elevation of Zahk {pure} through Gematria Mispar Godal as they {the righteous} become totally “twisted and fashioned and interwoven” with Ha Torah of Hashem. The Gematria of Shaw Zahr {twisted / interwoven} is 507 which is the same as the Gematria Mispar Godal of Zahk.

And in the Gematria Mispar Godal of Dawm we see the great separation of the righteous to Hashem. We observe their great holiness. It is Hashem that chooses them. It is Hashem that commands them to be holy!! It is Hashem who makes them holy! We see this in the Gematria Kotel {the normal Gematria plus the total of all letters} of Anh Nee - Hashem - Mi Kah Deesh Chehm {I am Hashem Who makes you holy}!!

Classmates, we observe through Mysticism that the righteous are empowered by holiness. Holiness / separation elevates their Spirituality. Their acts of separation empower them to remove large stones in this world. Their vision is a vision that we cannot see. Yet we can follow in their footsteps. Through Mysticism we see a little of them.

May you have the best!

Dr. Akiva Gamliel Belk

Written in 5760
Updaten in 5764

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