Friday, January 05, 2007

Parshas Vayechi

יִשָּׂשכָר, חמר גָּרֶם--רבֵץ, בֵּין הַמִּשְׁפְּתָיִם.

“Issachar is a large-boned donkey, couching down between the sheep-folds.” (Sefer Bereishis, 49:14)

Rashi on that pasuk tells us that Yaakov chose to refer to him as a donkey, because just as a donkey is known for loading things on it’s back, Yissachar loaded the burden of (learning) Torah. In other words, Yissachar was to be the Torah scholar of the bunch.

The Zohar asks, though, why Yaakov specifically singled out the donkey for Yissachar to be likened to. Certainly there are other, more elegant animals that also carry a load for him to be likened to. For instance, horses can carry a load, and many other animals throughout history have been used to schlep; why a donkey? The Zohar answers that while it is true that there are other animals that can carry a load, only a donkey won’t resist when putting the load on its back. If you try to put a heavy load on a horse, it will likely kick you. Explains the Zohar: Yissachar undertook the burden of Torah like a donkey – without kicking and screaming. He understood that this was his place and accepted the task with open arms.

While we should all constantly be trying to better ourselves in life, at the end of the day, we have certain roles here that G-d wants us to fulfill. For some, that may mean being the CEO of a company in order to gain political pull; for other’s it may being more involved with the “tzarchei tzibbur.” We shouldn’t look at someone else’s position in life and be jealous. While it’s not always easy, it becomes more bearable when we realize that that which the other person has wasn’t in the plans for us. Furthermore, we should understand what our true purpose is and act like asses (I mean donkeys) and accept it with open arms.

3 Comments:

Blogger socialworker/frustrated mom said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

12:17 PM, January 05, 2007

 
Anonymous cpa said...

Thank you that was very nice. Never heard that I love hearing new things.

12:23 PM, January 05, 2007

 
Blogger The Mink said...

Speaking of "kicking and screaming" anyone ever see that awful flick. It has to be right there with Bewitched as Will Ferrell's most painful works.

1:27 PM, January 05, 2007

 

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