December 8, 2016
Often the comment of the Meshech Chochmah can be long and intricate based on his reading of a Talmudic passage. But often he has very short flashes of original inspiration.
This week, I have chosen a very short comment which I think is powerful in its simplicity. I hope that you like it and leave a comment on the blog.
“Lavan returned to his place. Yaakov went on his way.” (32:1-2)
Meshech Chochmah writes that the difference between the way Lavan and Yaakov continue on from their encounter is significant. We would expect that someone who hosted a holy person like Yaakov in his house for years would be affected for the better. He would learn to better his ways somewhat, and become wiser through his prolonged exposure to wisdom.
Lavan, however, took leave of Yaakov and “returned to his place.” He went back to his previous position of beliefs and personality characteristics. Nothing positive had penetrated.
Yaakov, on the other hand, persisted on “his way.” The journey never ends for the tzadik. He is always in process, always looking to improve himself with still greater spiritual accomplishment.
His quest was immediately answered, as the Torah follows with “and God’s angels met up with him.”