Our Chahomim say: “Yaakov Avinu didn’t die”. What can we learn from him to continue his legacy?
I’d like to share a beautiful Drosha I found in a Sefer “Rabbi Nison Alpert on the Sidrah” (compiled by R. Dovid Weinberger, adapted from Hebrew “Limudei Nison” by R. Dovid Hojda)
on Parsha Toldos (25:27):
וְיַעֲקֹב֙ אִ֣ישׁ תָּ֔ם יֹשֵׁ֖ב אֹהָלִֽים – “Yaakov was wholesome man, dwelling in tents”
As Rashi explains “dwelling intents” means that Yaakov was dwelling in tents of Shem and Ever – tents of Torah study.
Rav Nison Alpert asks an interesting question. If the Torah wanted to let us know that Yaakov was studying Torah day and night, why does it not say that explicitly, but rather in a way that we will need commentary to let us know the true meaning, why doesn’t Torah say that Yaakov was learning 20 hours a day; rather it just writes that he was dwelling/living in tents?
Had the Torah revealed to us how much time Yaakov spent learning, we would certainly have a much deeper appreciation for his dedication to Torah? However, that is not the case. Because dedication to Torah isn’t measured only by the number of hours per day, days per year and number of years spent in study.
Rather, every person should consider the extent to which he will integrate Torah into his everyday life.
The extent to which Torah is his life.
The extent to which his life is Torah.
From this Drosha I learn that a Jew could dwell/live in tents of Torah when he is in his home, at work or anywhere he is. That’s probably what the posuk in Tehilim (27:4):
” אַחַ֤ת שָׁאַ֣לְתִּי מֵֽאֵת ה’ אוֹתָ֪הּ אֲבַ֫קֵּ֥שׁ שִׁבְתִּ֣י בְּבֵית ה’ כָּל־יְמֵ֣י חַיַּ֑י
– One thing I ask of Hashem, only that do I seek: to live in the house of the Hashem all the days of my life”
is talking about.
“House of Hashem”, in this posuk, can’t refer to Bais Hamikdash, no human being, even kohanim don’t live in Bais Hamikdash. “House of Hashem” is what you build around you wherever you are.
So, whether a Jew is in yeshiva or at work, in his home or on vacation, whether he is shepherd, doctor, handyman, cook, janitor, lawyer, farmer etc. he either dwells in tents of Torah or not, depending on what he does and what is in his mind.