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Tuesday
Nov172015

THE HAKHEL DEMOGRAPHIC

Dear Reader sh’yichyeh,

This week’s Parsha is VaYeitzei. It is in this week’s Torah portion that the Jewish nation finally begins to take shape. Yaakov Avinu leaves his parents’ home and travels to the decadent and immoral Charan and specifically over there, he marries and the tribes of B’nei Yisroel are born.

While there are many lessons to be learned from this story, we are going to focus on the “Hakhel connection” and how these points are connected with bringing Moshiach, which is the mission of every single Jew in our generation.

The following are a couple of the points discussed in the Sichos of the Rebbe:

Yaakov is the first of our patriarchs that had a very large family. It obviously was not easy for Yaakov to raise such a large family, but he did. We find something amazing here. Conventional logic dictates that if someone has a smaller family, he is able to invest more into each child and that would give him a better chance of this child going in the ways of Hashem. Yet we find that from all of our Patriarchs, it was only Yaakov who all his children went in the ways of Hashem!

This idea of having more children and investing in their education is truly connected to Hakhel. One of the unique things about Hakhel is the fact that it includes even the children in the biblical commandment of everyone going to hear the Torah from the king in the Beis HaMikdash. Not only are they included, but they are a vital part of the Mitzva. (Sicha of the 6th night of Sukkos 5748)

The family of Yaakov was a “living Hakhel” as they were made up of man, woman (4 wives) and children. Yaakov instilled tremendous Yiras Shamayim in his family and united them to serve Hashem.

In addition to his own family, Yaakov understood the concept of reaching out to people who were not yet aware of their connection to Hashem and bring them close to Hashem. This is evident in the reasoning he gives to the name Yosef, “Yosef Hashem li Ben Acher – May Hashem give me another son.” Chassidus teaches us that Yaakov was teaching us to take someone who seems indifferent to Judaism – “Acher” – and inspire him to become part of the Jewish family – “Ben.” This is the whole concept of Hakhel, to go out to other Jews and gather them together to inspire them to come closer to Hashem. (Sicha VaYeitzei 5748 footnote 77)

The above-mentioned concepts are very much connected to Moshiach. The Gemara says that Moshiach will come when all the designated Jewish souls are brought into this world. Every child that is born hastens Moshiach.

We must also learn from Hakhel to bring children and connect them to Torah. One of the ways of doing that is by ensuring that every Jewish child has a letter in the special children’s seifer Torah (www.kidstorah.org) and to teach our children the Seifer HaMitzvos (which started the new cycle this week).

 

Rabbi Avtzon is the Rosh Yeshiva of Yeshivas Lubavitch Cincinnati and a well sought after speaker and lecturer. Recordings of his in-depth shiurim on Inyanei Geula u’Moshiach can be accessed at http://www.ylcrecording.com.

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