Rabbi Milevsky's Thought of the Week: Toldos - 5779
APPRECIATING THE PRESENT
According to the Talmud, Yaakov - on his way to Haran to find a wife or two - passed the location of the future temple 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 - the location of the future temple.
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 (a place where his father was bound on an altar), he did not feel an urge to pray. Perhaps at that moment he did not appreciate his own worth or 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 important by ignoring the sacred terrain of Mount Moriah. As a result of what he sensed, he made an important U-turn that has inspired us for generations.