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Fully Satisfied

Torah Thoughts on Parshas Vayishlach by Rabbi Gedalia Finkel

"וַיְהִי לִי שׁוֹר וַחֲמוֹר צֹאן וְעֶבֶד וְשִׁפְחָה וָאֶשְׁלְחָה לְהַגִיד לַאדֹנִי לִמְצֹא חֵן בְּעֵינֶיךָ" בְּרֵאשִׁית ל''ב:ו'

“And I have acquired ox and donkey, flock and servant, and maidservant, and I am sending to tell my lord to find favor in your eyes.” Bereshis 32:6

There is an interesting observation in Parashas Vayishlach where Yaakov confronts Eisav and comments on how much cattle and property he has, as the pasuk reads: “And I have acquired ox and donkey, flock and servant, and maidservant...” This seems strange. Certainly Yaakov does not want to incite Eisav's jealousy against him. The point is that Yaakov is conveying a very important message to Eisav, and that message is that whatever he, Yaakov, has is coming from Hashem. This is true for everybody. There is nothing in life but the will of Hashem.

In this light, we understand that Yaakov said (v. 11) "I have everything", as opposed to Eisav, who says (v. 9) "I have a lot". The difference is that Yaakov believed that what he has is what Hashem wants him to have, not more and not less. Whereas for Eisav, though acknowledging that he has a lot, it is not enough.

In the morning we say the brachah, "שֶׁעָשָׂה לִי כָּל צָרְכִי", by which we are thanking Hashem for our shoes. (See Shulchan Aruch O.C. 46:1) What is so unique about our shoes? Every item of clothing could be altered. If one's pants are too long one can shorten them, etc., but shoes are an item that a person cannot mend. Shoes have to be a perfect fit. We are acknowledging that the shoes that Hashem gives us are a perfect fit, which reflects that whatever Hashem gives us is a perfect fit. So we don’t have what to complain about. What we have is what we are supposed to have. Don't bother looking at your neighbor! We should all live by this.


Rabbi Gedalia Finkel graduated from HTC's high school in 1967 and continued learning in the Beis Midrash. He has been a Rosh Yeshiva at the Mir Yeshiva in Yerushalayim for many years. He is also on the faculty of Yeshivat Heichal Aryeh. He is the author of Imrei Gedalia, on various tractates of the Talmud. He maintains a Kollel in the Ezras Torah neighborhood of Yerushalayim.

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