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Shining Outside the Spiritual Comfort Zone

Rashi, quoting Bereishis Rabbah, says that the word "ויצא" – “and he left” is superfluous since the possuk could have been easily understood if we were only told “and he went to Charan.” However, the reason the possuk tells us that he left Be’er Sheva is to teach us that when a righteous person leaves a place it makes an impression for while a Tzaddik is in a particular city, he (or she) is “its magnificence, its splendor, its grandeur,” and when he departs, “its magnificence has gone away, its splendor has gone away, its grandeur has gone away.”

Now consider that statement alongside what the Rebbe tells us on the word “Vayeitzei.” The Rebbe says that the word is included – and the parshah called by it – because this leaving of Yaakov gave us, his children, an inheritance of great spiritual strength. Be’er Sheva is a much holier city than Charan and was definitely more within Yaakov’s spiritual comfort zone. But looking at Yaakov Avinu’s life, we see that all the big spiritual accomplishments only happened after he left that comfort zone. It’s important to have a homeplace, a “comfort zone” on a high spiritual level, but once that grounds us (or rather, tethers us to greater heights) we can leave to less spiritually rich environments because we have Yaakov’s incredible capacity to affect change wherever we find ourselves. And once we are there, we can become “its magnificence, its splendor, and its grandeur,” transforming a Charan into a Be’er Sheva.

(Sources: Rashi, Likutei Sichos as adapted in the Kehot Chumash.)

Pens used: Staedtler Calligraphy Pens with XBold and Fine Nibs.

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