Praying in the dark

Parashat Vayetze

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November 22, 2017 19:39
3 minute read.
THE BOOK of Psalms contains a verse that expresses the gap between day and night: ‘To declare in the

THE BOOK of Psalms contains a verse that expresses the gap between day and night: ‘To declare in the morning Your kindness and Your faith at night’ (Psalms 92:3).. (photo credit: AMIR COHEN - REUTERS)

 
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This week’s parasha, Vayetze, focuses on our patriarch Jacob. We accompany him as he leaves his father’s house, through his rest stop at Beth-el and the dream with the promise he gets, his arrival in Haran and dealing with his cheating father-in-law, his marriage to two wives – Leah and Rachel, and then to Bilhah and Zilpah – the births of his children, all the way through to his return to the Land of Israel.

The sages of the Midrash found a hint about the Ma’ariv prayer, which Jacob instituted on his way to Haran, at the beginning of this parasha. Ma’ariv is a prayer recited in the evening hours after dark. It is no coincidence that our sages say that Jacob instituted it during those moments as he made his way from his father’s house to Haran.

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