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Vayetze Question 1

Weekly Parsha Questions

Vayetze Question 1

Yechiel Shaffer

As Yaakov flees from his brother, Esav, and he stops to rest for the night and dreams:

ויצא פרק כח

יב) ויחלם והנה סלם מצב ארצה וראשו מגיע השמימה והנה מלאכי אלהים עלים וירדים בו

12. And he dreamed, and behold! a ladder set up on the ground and its top reached to heaven; and behold, angels of God were ascending and descending upon it.

As Yaakov concludes his exile and nears his return to the land of Israel he has another set of dreams:

בראשית פרשת ויצא פרק לא

י) ויהי בעת יחם הצאן ואשא עיני וארא בחלום והנה העתדים העלים על־הצאן עקדים נקדים וברדים

10. And it came to pass at the time the animals prepared to mate, that I lifted my eyes and saw in a dream, and behold, the he goats that mounted the animals were ringed, speckled, and striped.

יא) ויאמר אלי מלאך האלהים בחלום יעקב ואמר הנני

11. And an angel of God said to me in a dream, ‘Jacob!’ And I said, ‘Here I am.’

יב) ויאמר שא־נא עיניך וראה כל־העתדים העלים על־הצאן עקדים נקדים וברדים כי ראיתי את כל־אשר לבן עשה לך

12. And he said, ‘Now lift your eyes and see [that] all the he goats mounting the animals are ringed, speckled, and striped, for I have seen all that Laban is doing to you.

יג) אנכי האל בית־אל אשר משחת שם מצבה אשר נדרת לי שם נדר עתה קום צא מן־הארץ הזאת ושוב אל־ארץ מולדתך

13. I am the God of Beth el, where you anointed a monument, where you pronounced to Me a vow. Now, arise, go forth from this land and return to the land of your birth.'”

Each dream features angels and an explicit message from God.

What is the message from each angel and how do they differ?

Is it shocking that Yaakov, who had dreamed of angels ascending to heaven, is now dreaming of business transactions? What experiences changed him?

Since the dreams of Yaakov change with his experiences, does that perhaps motivate him to take next steps? What is Yaakov’s reaction to these dreams?