This blog is dedicated to two of my granddaughters, Hallel Nesyah and Shir Tehilla, who celebrated English birthdays this week. (Arye also had an English birthday this week, but he's a big boy now. :) )
At Shabbat lunch, my granddaughter Shiri, who I am certain will become a great Torah educator one day, BE"H, gave her first Shabbat table dvar Torah. She gave over thoughts that she heard from HaRav Reuven Rosenstark, her dedicated and brilliant rav beit hasefer of Orot Etzion Banot.
Shir Tehilla said, Rav Reuven asked, "Who here has many dolls? Who has many toys? Who has many books?" Everyone, B"H, has many possessions. Our Patriarch Yaakov and has family had lots of possessions too. Between 11 boys and a girl, they had many toys and games. When Yaakov's family crosses the river, he found that they left some of their possessions behind. Rashi says they were "small earthenware pitchers."
It doesn't much matter what they were. Yaakov Avinu appreciated every single possession he had. Hashem blessed him with so many things, and he was so grateful for everything he had, he didn't want to leave anything behind.
Shiri ended by saying that we should appreciate everything we have too, because everything we have is from Hashem.
As opposed to Yaakov attitude, in his parsha, we meet Esav, who is also very rich. He was the Donald Trump of Canaan. When Yaakov see him after more than three decades, Yaakov sends Esav scores of animals and flocks as a tribute.
Esav tells his twin brother, "I have plenty." I am loaded. Of course, I could always have more.
Yaakov replies, "I have everything." Yaakov was very very wealthy. Of course, he had everything. Well, you know what? Even if he had been poor and had only the shirt on his back and a single lamb under his arm, he would also have felt, "I have everything," because a tzaddik is satisfied and grateful for anything and everything he has.
B"H, our lives are very blessed. Our homes may be large or small, but they are filled with whatever we need. And more than possessions, our homes are filled with people whom we love and who love us. B"H, all of us must thank Hashem for His kindness to us, and remember, we have everything.
Enjoy some culture. The painting above is "The Reunion of Jacob and Esau," by Italian painter Francesco Hayez, 1844 (Pinacoteca Tosio Martinengo, Brescia, Italy).