Vayishlach: Inspired by Lavan

Sometimes inspiration comes from the most unlikely sources.

This week, we learn about Yaakov’s encounter with his brother Eisav, after 22 years spent apart. Yaakov told Eisav that despite having lived with a wicked uncle for 22 years, he had never learnt from his evil ways.

Why did Yaakov tell Eisav that?

Rav Elchonon Wasserman explains in the name of his mentor the Chofetz Chaim, that Yaakov was using that moment to chastise himself. Lavan wasn’t merely cruel; he was zealously cruel. He persevered in his quest to hurt his nephew. It was his life’s purpose. And it made Yaakov ponder his enthuasism for his life’s mission. Was that same passion present in his Service of G-D?

Please do not take this next statement the wrong way:

Great people in our times have commented that we have much to learn from those who blow up train stations and ram cars into pedestrians.

The passion and self sacrifice that our enemies show when destroying innocent lives for their ideology can be emulated and channelled for the good. We could use those same strengths to build the world. when others are passionately murderous and godless, we are passionately kind and G-D fearing.

Let’s learn from Lavan’s ‘bad ways’, and use what we learn in good ways!

 

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