The great revelation of the Megaleh Amukos
The Struggle between Eisov’s Ministering Angel and Yaakov Ovinu
Concerning the Minor Mitzvos which People Are Careless about
Dear brothers & friends.
In this week’s mamar for parshas Vayishlach, we discuss the difficult struggle waged between Eisov’s ministering angel and Yaakov Ovinu — which concluded in a resounding victory for Yaakov Ovinu. How difficult this struggle was in the material realm, and no less so in the spiritual realm, can be learned from the following elucidation in the Gemoreh (Chullin 91a): “שהעלו אבק מרגלותם עד כסא הכבוד”— they wrestled so viciously that they raised dust all the way up to the Throne of Glory.
We suggest to explain this matter based on an incredible wonderful commentary of the Megaleh Amukes. He teaches us that the main focus of the struggle between Eisov’s ministering angel and Yaakov concerned the performance of seemingly minor, lesser Mitzvos — an area in which Bnei Yisroel do not exhibit sufficient diligence.
Rashi in parshas Eikev describes the performance of Mitzvos which people might view as less significant; as commandments that a person “tramples with his heels”. This, in fact, was the accusation presented by Eisov’s angel; he claimed that Yaakov was destined to father a people that did not pay adequate attention to the performance of minor Mitzvos. Based on the merits of this argument, he sought to kill Yaakov—insinuating that he was unworthy of fathering the holy nation.
Despite his efforts and accusations, the Torah provides undeniable testimony regarding Yaakov’s choracter and worthiness: “וירא כי לא יכול לו”— Yaakov’s heavenly adversary realized that he could not succeed in finding fault with Yaakov himself.
Realizing that he was unsuccessful in defeating Yaakov himself, for he was equally diligent in his performance of all of Hashem’s Mitzvos, be they major or minor, the “samech-mem” adopted an alternative plan: “ויגע בכף ירכו” — he struck a blow to his thigh region. In other words, he struck a blow directed at Yaakov’s descendants. They would fall into his trap and be guilty of treating the lesser Mitzvos less stringently.
Now, based on the Megaleh Amukes’s commentary, we can begin to appreciate Chazal’s statement mentioned above: “שהעלו אבק מרגלותם עד כסא הכבוד”— they wrestled, they raised dust all the way up to the Kisei HaKovoid. In truth, the yetzer desires to cause man to transgress all of the major seemingly more stringent aveiros. Yet, knowing full well that a person will not heed his words concerning the transgression of the major aveiros, he cleverly begins by persuading the person to first become negligent in his performance of the minor Mitzvos. Seeing as one aveireh ultimately leads to subsequent aveiros, he slowly but surely gets the person, chas v’cholileh, to transgress all of the major aveiros as well.
As a consequence of trampling these minor Mitzvos with one’s heels, they cause dust to rise from the ground little by little heavenward — the result of one aveireh leading to another. Ultimately, man is persuaded to transgress major aveiros involving his faith and belief in Hashem. The effect of these transgressions, unfortunately, reaches all the way to the Kisei HaKovoid, upon which HKB”H sits.
This brothers, is only the beginning of a spiritual journey into the depths of the struggle between Eisov’s ministering angel and Yaakov Ovinu. We must follow in the footsteps of Yaakov Ovinu’s decisive victory, due to the fact that he wasn’t negligent to observe all of Hashem’s Mitzvos, minor like major.
I hope we all enjoy a delightful sweet Shabbos with all the trimmings