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This article on the portion of the week was originally published in 2019.
Every minute, every, day, week, month and year has its own unique energy. As it says in the Bible, “For everything, there is a season.” There’s a time to plant, and a time for harvest. A time for planning, and a time for action. The energy of this week, the week of Vayetze, as we will discover together, lends itself towards a shift in our consciousness. With spiritual study and the deeper understanding that it brings, we just might be able to see things differently at the end of this week than we had in the beginning.
"For everything there is a season..." ~ Ecclesiastes 3:1
In Vayetze, we find Jacob beginning a spiritual journey. After much travel, he meets Rachel and instantly falls in love with her. Rachel’s father, an evil warlock named Laban, makes Jacob work seven years before allowing him to marry Rachel. On the day of Jacob and Rachel’s wedding Laban devises a plan to deceive Jacob, disguising his other daughter Leah as the bride and unknowingly Jacob marries her instead. To now earn to be united with Rachel, his true soul mate, Jacob agrees to work another seven years for Laban.
Vayetze means “and he left.” A few weeks back we had the portion of Lech Lecha, which translated means, “Get you out.” Is this yet another portion in which the Bible is imploring us to embark on a spiritual journey? To leave our comfort zone? To go outside ourselves? In a way, yes I believe it is. However, there is a distinct difference; a new level of understanding here for us. One from which I think anyone engaging in a spiritual lifestyle can surely benefit.
While from Lech Lecha learned the benefits of going outside our nature, getting uncomfortable and extending ourselves to others, the story of Jacob in the portion of Vayetze is the story of what happens when we mindfully choose to take upon ourselves the spiritual work. Yes like Abraham, Jacob had to leave the place he considered his home – his personal comfort and security – to go to his next level of spirituality, but as soon as he did, he was faced with so many difficulties, so many opportunities to choose or say, “Nah, this is not for me.” The secret that the portion of Vayetze reveals is that the way we grow spiritually is through the choice we make to keep going, to persevere. I often hear from students that the moment they made a true commitment and said, “I’m going to be more spiritual,” they were faced with choices. Suddenly situations presented themselves. “Why now,” they ask, “When I’ve made this great decision that I want to do more and be more?”
"The portion Vayetze reveals that we grow spiritually through the choice we make to keep going, to persevere."
The answer is: In order to do more and be more, we must always re-choose to be on this journey. To continue to work another seven years even though the first seven did not give us exactly what we wanted.
What choices are you facing in your life right now? This is a good week to think about them, and to start to see them in a different light. For any fork in the road that arises in the next seven days, no matter how big or small, is an opportunity for us to re-choose.
The spiritual path is one that will always be fraught with detours, roadblocks, or forks. It’s learning to see those as a means to become the cause and chooser of our destiny, to choose the path of Light. After all, isn’t that why this world was created for us? So that we could be the reason, the source of our own fulfillment.