Staying Focused – Rabbi Yosef Hershman

The beginning of Parshas Vayeitzei recounts how Yaakov Avinu goes to sleep after taking a bunch of rocks and placing them around his head. In the morning, the rocks have miraculously turned into one. We know that the Torah does not relate all the details of the lives of the Avos. The stories that are conveyed are to teach us lessons about how to live our lives. What lesson is this event with these rocks meant to teach us?

The Maharal explains that the closer one is to Hashem the more he is connected to unity of purpose. The farther a person grows from Hashem, the more fragmented his life becomes. When one is very conscious of Hashem, everything he does revolves around becoming a better servant of Hashem. Which school to attend, which profession to enter, which woman to marry, which community to choose are all answered against the backdrop of getting closer to Hashem. When Hashem is not in the picture, however, we are motivated by all types of different things – prestige, money, beauty, etc. The group of rocks represent this fragmented way of life, motivated to act by lots of different things. When these rocks got close to the head of Yaakov Avinu, choice amongst the Avos, there was no room for multiplicity of purpose. The symbolism of their becoming one is that tzadikkim focus only on their relationship with Hashem in all the decisions they make. May we all have the clarity to make all of our decisions in a way that will bring us closer to Hashem.

Leave a Comment