Simcha's Torah Stories - Vayeitze

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Parshas Vayeitze

YOU MAKE THE DIFFERENCE

Avi, Avi, I'm so glad I ran into you today!

What's doing, Chaim?

First of all, how are you? How are you feeling?

Fine, Chaim. Thank you for asking. How are you?

Just fine, thank you. Avi, do you know that new neighbors just moved into the house down the street yesterday?

I thought I saw a moving truck there.

Well, they need help with everything, as you can imagine. I've got about fifteen guys together to go help them this afternoon. Can you come?

Fifteen guys! Chaim you're a super organizer. Fifteen guys can do anything. It sounds like you don't even need me. What difference will I make?

Avi, everybody makes a difference. Your efforts are very important.

How do you know that, Chaim?

We learn it from this week's Torah portion, "Vayetze." The Torah begins by telling us that "Yaakov Avinu," our father Jacob, left the city of Be'er Sheva and traveled towards the city of Haran. Our sages ask the question, "Why did the Torah tell us that Yaakov left Be'er Sheva? The Torah could have written that Yaakov went to the city of Haran, and we would have automatically known that he left Be'er Sheva."

What is the answer to that question, Chaim?

The Torah is teaching us a lesson, Avi.

What lesson is that, Chaim?

When a righteous person such as Yaakov Avinu lives in a city, he has a very big positive influence on that city. He improves the whole quality of life there. When he leaves that city, the loss is felt. The Torah told us that Yaakov "left Be'er Sheva" to teach us that his presence was missed there.

That is a beautiful lesson, Chaim, but what does it have to do with my helping the new neighbors?

Avi, don't ever think that you cannot make a difference. Everything mitzvah that you do is felt and noticed by those around you. Just like Yaakov's presence was missed when he left Be'er Sheva, your presence will be missed at the new neighbors' home. We need you and want to help.

Chaim, I'm on my way. Sixteen guys helping is a whole lot better than fifteen guys. See you there!


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