Going or Coming

By Rabbi Berach Steinfeld

Posted on 11/09/21

Parshas HaShavua Divrei Torah sponsored by
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In Bereishis 28:10 the posuk tells us that Yaakov left Beer Sheva and went to CharanRashi asks why does the posuk tell us both facts, that he left Beer Sheva and went to Charan? If he went to Charan he obviously left Be’er Sheva, and if he left Be’er Sheva he obviously went!  

The Magen Avraham in Orach Chaim 267:11 says that when the posuk tells us that Yaakov went to sleep because the sun went down, this took place on Erev Shabbos. How could Yaakov leave on Erev Shabbos when we know the halacha stated in Halacha Orach Chaim 248:4 that one cannot head out on a boat or travel to the desert if it is within three days before Shabbos since a person may come to be mechallel Shabbos

Another question is raised regarding the stones Yaakov took to make a protective semi-circle so he could sleep, as Rashi tells us, since he was afraid of animals. How was Yaakov able to build this semi-circle of stones on Shabbos? We find in Shulchan Aruch 259:6 that if Yom Tov comes out on Erev Shabbos, one can’t do hatmana inside a set of stones as that would be a problem of binyan and stira on Shabbos as the Mishna Berura 17 says that setting up the stones would constitute boneh.   

We see that Rivkah said to Yaakov in the posuk 27:43, “Listen to me and run away from Esav to my brother Lavan in Charan.” We see that her main objective was for Yaakov to leave. On the other hand, Yitzchok told Yaakov to go find a shidduch in Charan, so his main objective was for Yaakov to go to Charan. That is why Yaakov listened to both his father and mother as he left Beer Sheva and went to Charan.   

Now we can understand why Yaakov left on Erev Shabbos. The Shulchan Aruch in Orach Chaim 248:1 paskens that if one is travelling for a mitzvah, he may leave on Erev Shabbos. We can also understand that Yaakov built a semi-circle out of stones because the Shulchan Aruch Orach Chaim 248:4 says that if a person went on a trip on Erev Shabbos to do a mitzvah, since his exiting the city was done b’heter, then one is allowed to be mechallel Shabbos to protect himself since it is considered pikuach nefesh. Because of this, if he enters the city on Shabbos, he gets the whole city as the t’chum Shabbos as we see in the Mishna Berurah 32 that since the chillul Shabbos resulted as a sakana and he was allowed to be there, then we don’t give him a knas that he only gets daled amos. Since Yaakov Avinu went with the intent to do kibbud av and then returned to Har Hamoriah thereby being oleh to Eretz Yisroel, which is considered a mitzvah, he was therefore allowed to be mechallel Shabbos to protect himself. We see that going to Eretz Yisroel, even for a short while, is considered doing a mitzvah so Yaakov was able to return to Har Hamoriah, even though it was Erev Shabbos.  

We can answer the question of why Yaakov used the stones with another answer; that these stones were prepared for guests. That is why the posuk says he took stones from “The Place.” They were designated stones for sitting and for sleeping.

In either case, we see the greatness of both Kibbud av Ve’aim and being oleh to Eretz Yisroel. May we be zocheh to do these mitzvos properly.