Vayetze 5773

We read earlier this year that Ham and Canaan were cursed by Noah; Shem is blessed, and Yaphet will sit in the tents of Shem. Israel are the descendents of Shem and in recent parshiyot we have read that neither Isaac nor Jacob were to marry from Canaan but rather women from Padan-Aram in the north, deep in the Asian land of Shem. Why? Ishmael and Esau married Canaanite women and this drew concern from their parents. The answer is because of the type of families that that these women would raise. The concern was that they would be conditioned by that environment and would approve of the Canaanite society about them. It was a community of violence and unbridled passions and there was worry that they would become used to that reaction to the surroundings. The mothers of Israel, Sarah, Rebecca, Rachel and Leah never were accepting of that kind of ‘sport’. Esau as well as Ishmael went to the ways of the hunter and lack of temperance within public. Isaac and Jacob followed the ways of quiet and solitude and closeness of family. Avraham and Yakov were blessed through the families of the world. This is the cornerstone of our religion; family that we create is foremost. Therefore Jacob receives his father’s blessing and sets out now in our parsha’s beginning to find his wife among the community of his ancestors where the influence upon his own will be stronger than the community of Canaan that forged a dangerous blend of fanaticism and fervour to all that they believed. This is our trouble with the Western world and their offshoot religious causes until today. Families are made for gentility and sweetness and that is what we are to aim for within our own lives. Amen


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