Vayeshev 5774 – One Little Spark

Yaakov settled in the land of his father’s residence in the land of Canaan (Bereshis 37:1)

Rashi connects this parsha to the end of the previous parsha with a metaphor. Once a flax dealer came to town with many camels carrying flax. A blacksmith wondered where all of the flax would be stored when a wise man said to him, “one spark from your bellows will burn all of it up.” Yaakov heard about all of the chiefs from Esav’s family and wondered who could defeat them. Then this week’s parsha mentions Yaakov and Yosef – Yaakov is compared to a fire, Yosef is compared to a flame, and Esav is compared to straw. One spark will go out from Yaakov and Yosef and destroy all of the offspring of Esav.

One small act performed with the zeal of fire can destroy any evil.

Let me share with you an amazing story I read this week by Rabbi Eliyahu Hoffman on Rav Yehoshua Leib Diskin used to visit an ill widow who was in a hospital. She was very sick and no longer had control over her bodily functions. Therefore, she was attached to bags to collect her waste. Since she was constantly around waste, she was unable to say prayers or blessings. Rav Diskin once asked her why she still had the burning desire to live. She gave an amazing answer.

She said that every day the nurse would take away the dirty bags and clean her. During that time, she would take a drink of water say the bracha “Shehakol Neheye Bidvaro (all was created through His word).” She said to Rav Diskin, “Isn’t this reason enough to live!”

One small spark can destroy any bad! This one small spark of holiness destroyed any bad thoughts the Yetzer Hara put in this woman’s mind about giving up.

We are one week away from Chanuka… For 2,000 years we have been lighting candles for eight days because of one small spark and a tiny jar of oil. Our Sages tell us that the Second Temple was destroyed by fire and when the Third Temple is built, it will be built with fire. As we light our Menorah next week with a small spark, let’s think and hope that this small spark will ignite the large fire that will bring the Third Bais HaMikdash.

Good Shabbos!
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