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You Call This "Settled?!"

If we were to judge Vayeishev by name alone, we’d expect a very different parshah from the one we get. The word “vayeishev” means “and he settled.” Reading this first possuk, one could be excused for thinking that the rest of the parshah would consist of enumerating Yaakov’s descendants and how he and his family began to settle the land of Canaan. But what follows instead? Terrible sibling rivalry, deception, and inconsolable grief, as Yosef is kidnapped and sold into slavery and his father mourns his death for years.

How is any of this “settled?” In what context does this remotely resemble peace and tranquility?

The Rebbe explains: Yaakov wanted a life of peace and Hashem wanted to give it to him. But Hashem wanted to him to enjoy an even more elevated state of “settlement” than he deserved, a state of peace in both this life and the next. To that end, Hashem sent him this trial of Yosef’s loss. It was a challenge that strengthened Yaakov and lifted him onto a higher spiritual level than he would have otherwise achieved.

In this way, all the turmoil that we encounter in Parshas Vayeishev really leads directly to Yaakov’s last 17 years (later on in the Chumash) of utter peace and nachas, enjoying hard-earned spiritual and material wealth among his children in Goshen until his passing on to even greater tranquility in the world to come.

(Adapted from Likutei Sichos vol. 30, p 176ff, via Chayenu’s weekly publication.)

Pens used: Speedball C-3 nib pen dipped in Higgins violet ink, Pentel brush pen.

Wishing you all a very happy Chanukah! May we get to see the peace and light that we've already earned.

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