January 13, 2017
The following idea was written up by talmidim of Rav Shlomo Wolbe zt"l, the great Mashgiach of Yerushalayim in the latter half of the 20th century.
Rav Wolbe points out that a number of the brachos of Yaakov Avinu focus on single individuals. When he blessed Dan he had Shimshon in mind, when he blessed Gad he was referring to Yiftach, and when he blessed Binyomin his focus was on Shaul, Mordechai and Esther.
Since every sheivet is made up of many thousands (and cumulatively over the generations, millions) of people, why would Yaakov focus on single individuals?
The Torah focuses on the individual because the Torah focuses on quality and not quantity. Although almost all Jews throughout the centuries were not directly referred to in Yaakov's blessings, certainly every Jew has an individual purpose that only he can fulfill. The lesson to be gleaned from Yaakov's blessings is that, we too, should focus on the quality as opposed to the quantity. A single mitzvah performed wholeheartedly, surpasses many mitzvos performed halfheartedly. We should give particular attention to the quality of our brachos, tefillos, chassadim and Torah study. Instead of counting your many mitzvos, make every mitzvah count!
1.) As many have winter vacation starting this week and the following week, a number of our regular weekday minyan attendees are not in town the next two weeks. Therefore we ask all who are home to PLEASE assist us in ensuring the continuity of our morning and evening minyanim. Thank you!
2.) G-d willing, our family will be leaving Wednesday, the 18th of January, for a week. I will be available via email and text, but I won’t be checking them as often. Of course, for any emergencies please call. There will be rabbinic coverage for situations that require it.