Yaakov settled in the land of his fathers, the Land Of Canaan.
Bereishit Rabah teaches: Like a man who is sitting amongst a pack of wild dogs. He was sitting amongst the descendants of Eisav.
Further: He was following his fathers path of teaching students; of bringing Torah into the world; of bringing his Chachma down into the world. Migayeir Geirim (Converting others) is similar to Migurei Aviv (The land of his fathers).
Fearful of the growth of his mighty brother Yaakov strengthened himself with spreading Godly light; wisdom. With this he built his own camp.
Rebbe Natan Breslover teaches that Yaakov wanted to serve Hashem, as his fathers did……..and that we all find ourselves in this stunning verse, we are all looking to serve Hashem like our fathers…………
We are so connected to our parents. I believe this is a special type of Teshuva to go back to the Torah of our fathers. Sh’ma B’ni Musar Avicha, V’all Titosh Torat I’mecha, My son, listen deep to lessons of your father, and beware of abandoning the Torah of your mother.
The father gives us our first concept of God. Our mother, our first concept of the All Loving Shechina.
Take a moment to heal and bring the light of Hashem into our relationship with our Father and Mother.
Our beliefs and minds were imprinted first by our parents. From them we received trust, acceptance, personal space, the goodness of people, the beauty of our souls.
And remember Chazal teach that we picked our parents. They are the most perfect parents for you.
Eleh Toldot Yaakov Yosef, (These are the offspring of Yaakov, Yosef)
We all know that Avraham had Yishmael, Yitzchak – Eisav, but Yaakov? He had a Yosef……. psshhhhhhh Yosef was mamesh a copy of Yaakov. The Medrish teaches all the things they were similar. Mamesh everything that happened to Yaakov happened to Yosef.
He is like the perfection. The Torah teaches this with a mashal:
A coal man is watching a flax man riding his flax camel into the city, the coal man wonders out loud “How is the flax man with his huge flax loaded camel going to fit into the gate?” A wisecracker responds “One spark from your coals can reduce the mountain of flax to nothing”.
Eisav is the flax, Yaakov the coal, and Yosef the spark.
So we something very strange though…. The Torah also teaches (Bereishit Rabah) that Yaakov wanted to live in peace, so the fury of Yosef was sprung on him! Rashi explains – Tzadikim want to live in tranquility, Hashem therefore rules that they have so much good in the world to come it is not fit to have such tranquility in this world.
What does this mean? Was Yaakov looking for an easy life?
This really the same thing. We all want to serve Hashem, to do teshuva, to be whole with our parents, to change the world. We want to be great! Mamesh Great!
The only way is through a Yosef. Yosef goes down into slavery – Yosef goes into the deepest work that there is to be done in our souls!! Tzadikim want the next world! – They totally want the will of Hashem. They have already made it, but they need the Yosef going in this world through all the darkest places.
What is the most important character trait to look for in a spouse?
To answer first consider another question.
What is the mission statement of marriage?
I.e. what is the goal of marriage?
Yaakov is mamesh the highest, he is the most shalem, he is emet – truth, he is so whole and perfect and the midah that expresses that into the world is Yosef. Yosef is Yesod, foundation, purity, finding security in Hashem.
When we marry we are completing ourselves. We are taking ourselves to the place where we can be whole. The goal of marriage is the goal of our lives – to be great. To be our highest selves.
As Rashi teaches when we want to be whole (following the Torah of our fathers), living in tranquility, then the fury of Yosef jumps on us.
So then the most important trait is the willingness to grow through challenge. To be wrong, to stand corrected.
My suggestion is to marry someone ready to grow.