Rabbi Milevsky's Thought of the Week: Vayeitzei - 5776
According to the Talmud, Yaakov Avinu on his way to Haran passed the location of the binding of Yitzchak and the future Beit Hamikdash without stopping. When he reached Haran, he said to himself “is it possible that I passed through the place where my fathers prayed and not have prayed too?” He immediately resolved to return to the Makom Hamikdash.
We are often taught to “appreciate what we have before it becomes something we had.” At times a person can be doing something extremely important and valuable, and yet chronically doubt themselves several times a minute. We must teach others and ourselves to recognize good, and when we are indeed involved in such acts, give ourselves the credit due.
The first time Yaakov, passed the Makom Hamikdash he did not feel an urge to pray. Perhaps at that moment he did not appreciate the value of the place. Only after leaving Eretz Yisrael, and undoubtedly feeling a spiritual void, did he come to an understanding that he missed something quite valuable by ignoring the sacred terrain of Mount Moriah. As a result of what he sensed, he made an important U-turn, and merited the vision of the ladder, a message that has inspired the people of Israel for many years to come.