Midreshet Amit


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Seeing the Light

By: Orli Forman

The beginning of Chodesh Kislev leads up to the holiday of light within a dark period. Chanukah is not just a festival of physical light but it is also an opportunity for spiritual growth, connection to Hashem and to share our light.

This weeks Parsha, פרשת ויצא we read the conversation between Ya’akov and Rachel. In פרק ל פסוק (א-ב) Rachel says to Ya’akov “הבא לי בנים ואם אין מתה אנוכי״-

give me children or else I’ll die. Ya’akov responds angrily ״התחת אלהים אנכי אשר מנע ממך פרי בטן״- is it me that is preventing you from having children?

At first glance, Ya’akovs angry reply seems insensitive and cruel.  However, the Ramban and Akedat Yitzchak are among the many commentators that try to analyze Ya'akovs response.  According to the Ramban, Ya’akov is upset because he feels Rachel is accusing him of not davening enough for her to have children. The Akedat Yitzchak explains that there are two aspects of a women: אישה וחוה. The aspect of אישה is the same as איש and this suggest that women  have opportunities in the areas of intellectual and spiritual growth. חוה symbolises the power of childbearing and a nurturing quality. Ya’akov is angry at Rachel for believing that her entire life purpose is the aspect and that without children she is as good as dead. This exposes Yaakov's true love and respect for Rachel whom he hopes can thrive and shine using her innate middot.

In the same way that Ya’akov wants to see Rachel to see light within herself the month of Kislev gives that same opportunity. Just like the lighting of Chanukiah is public so too we share our own light by acts of spiritual kindness and deep connections to ה.