November 23, 2017 / 5 Kislev, 5778 • Parshat Vayeitzei
Issue 482
Dedicated in loving memory of Mrs. Miriam Friedman


After having served Laban faithfully for 14 years, Jacob worked for him for another six years in order to build up his personal wealth.

True Wealth

Aside from his material wealth, Jacob also attained true, spiritual wealth: he succeeded in raising all of his children to follow in the righteous ways of Abraham and Isaac, and did not produce a single wicked son (of the likes of Esau or Ishmael, who were born to his forebears Abraham and Isaac).

Jacob was able to so this because he synthesized the inspirational approach of Abraham and the self-disciplining approach of Isaac. By relating to G-d with simple sincerity, Jacob both transcended the differences between the opposite approaches of his forebears and was able to relate equally well to each of his children's different personalities. It was also because of his simple sincerity that Jacob was able to outwit the crafty, scheming Laban.

Jacob's example teaches us that while logic and reason have their place, the foundation of our relationship with G-d is simple, sincerity. This sincerity then enables us to relate effectively to others no matter how different they may be from us.

From Daily Wisdom