Make the Time to Build a Home

November 30, 2019 at 1:06 AM , , ,
“…..Now my husband will reside with me, for I have borne him six sons…… So she named him Zevulun….” – Bereishit 30:20

״….הפעם יזבלני אישי כי ילדתי לו ששה בנים ותקרא את שמו זבולון…״ – בראשית ל, כ 

From now on, his principal residence (zevul) will be only with me, because I have as many sons as all his other wives combined. —Rashi

Yaakov and Zevulun represent two opposite ends of the spectrum when it comes to Torah study. Yaakov is called “an innocent man, who dwelled in tents (25:27),” referring to his extended studies in the “tents of Shem and Ever (Rashi),” the academies of Torah study of his time. Zevulun, on the other hand, famously arranged with Yissachar that “Zevulun will dwell at the seashore and go out in ships, to trade and make profit. They will thereby provide food for the tribe of Yissachar, who will sit and occupy themselves with the study of Torah (Rashi, Devarim 33:18).” If Zevulun represents the worldly businessman, and Yaakov represents the studious Torah scholar, how can it be – from a spiritual perspective – that it was specifically the arrival of Zevulun that caused his mother’s tent to become Yaakov’s primary place of residence?

We similarly find that although Yaakov spent many years studying in the academies of Shem and Ever, yet his great years of success, when he became “extraordinarily and exceedingly prosperous (30:43)” – materially, and understandably, spiritually – were specifically when he was working and living with Lavan.

From here we see the unparalleled importance and value of a working person dedicating time in his day for Torah study. For the Torah, represented by Yaakov, does not have the “stability” of a permanent home, until it is hosted and accommodated in the busy schedule of the working person, Zevulun. The diligent Torah studies of those removed from worldly interaction do not have this promise of “tried and tested” stability. The strength and endurance of the Jews’ love for G-d and His Torah is revealed when a Jew who is occupied in worldly affairs nevertheless sets aside time for Torah study. Only then does the home that the Jew creates for G-d in this world pass the test of consistency and guarantee its permanence.

—Likutei Sichos vol. 30, pp. 137-140


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