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Children's Corner
The wind was blowing, and large flakes of snow were falling to the ground. The Stern children, Motti, Ari, Esther and little Chaim, trudged through the snow with their father on this wintry Shabbos morning. Motti held his little brother's hand firmly but patiently. He walked slowly so that Chaim would be able to keep up.

As everybody waited to cross a busy street, Motti said with a smile, "You know, Daddy, I can really understand what Yaakov Avinu meant when he told Esav that he would visit him eventually. After Esav invited Yaakov to come with him to his home at Har Seir, Yaakov said: 'Go ahead, Esav. I'll have to walk slowly because of my children and my many household duties.' "

"Yeah," laughed Ari. "If Yaakov's children walked as slowly as Esther and Chaim, Esav would have had to wait a very, very long time."

"And Esav is still waiting, till this very day!" smiled Mr. Stern.

"What do you mean?" asked Ari.

"Hey, Daddy's right," said Motti. "I don't remember learning that Yaakov actually visited Esav in Har Seir."

"You mean Yaakov made an empty promise?" asked Ari in surprise. "How could he tell Esav he would come and then never show up?"

"You've asked a very good question," replied Mr. Stern. "But it's hard to talk in this snow, so let's discuss it while we're eating our warm Shabbos meal."

Later, as the Stern family sat around their Shabbos table, Mr. Stern explained. "Yaakov Avinu indeed planned to visit Esav at Har Seir. The Torah tells us Ve'alu Moshiim beHar Tzion lishpot es Har Esav, 'Saviors will go up on Mount Zion to judge the Mountain of Esav.' Then, in the time of the geulah, Yaakov the Jewish people will go to Har Esav, which is Har Seir, to bring judgment upon Esav and his descendants.

"Yaakov Avinu knew that this would not happen immediately, and he knew that he and his children would have to accomplish a great deal of work - he called it 'household duties' - before the geulah.

"A Jew's 'household duties' make the world a home for HaShem. Yaakov promised that he and his children, the Jewish people, would fulfill this mission with devotion, no matter how long it would take. This mission will be completed very soon, and then we will visit Har Seir."

(Adapted from Sichos Shabbos Parshas Vayishlach, 5752)

 

 


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