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Browse Torah Articles: Sefer Beresheet: Parashat Vayesheb: Yaakov Settled

Contributed by: Rabbi Haim Shaul

"And Yaakov settled in the dwelling place of his father."

The midrash comments that Yaakov Avinou wanted to settle down to a peaceful life after all that had occurred to him throughout his lifetime.

Even though we would certainly feel that Yaakov deserved a little tranquility after all that has transpired, the sages said "is it no enough for the righteous that the world to come is prepared for them, that they also want tranquility in this world"?

To understand fully what the midrash means, let us first give an unusaual interpretation to one of the most familiar pesouqim of Tehillim.

"Poteah Et Yadecha, Oumasbiah lekol hai Rasson"
"You open Your Hand, and satisfy every living thing with Rasson (desire)"

A person who receives all he desires without limit, is left nothing to strive for, and eventually becomes bored with his life. It is important to have wants and desires that add drive and determination to a person's life.

Hashem opens his hand and satisfies every living creature with "desire" – that with all man is given, he still desires to attain more (in spiritual endeavors). That which Hashem gives desire in the first place, is in order that we rejoice when we attain our goals. And that is the meaning of the midrah that the righteous are not given everything in this world so they will still have the challenges and desire to live their life to the fullest and earn an even greater portion in the world to come.
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