Vayeitzei - Expedited Light

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Parshas Vayeitzei begins with Yaakov leaving the land of Israel headed for Charan, the home of his mother’s brother Lavan. After travelling all day long, the sun set for him bringing in darkness. And there in the darkness, as we learn from Rashi (on pasuk 11) he created and prayed the Maariv prayer. Yet, what do the darkness and prayer have in common? Reb Noson of Breslov writes, we know that daytime and light represent hope, joy, and clarity. But nighttime – darkness – is a time of confusion and challenges for us. Yaakov established Maariv in the darkness for us, for when we feel in the darkness. Because plenty of times in our lives we will feel that we are in the darkness, maybe because of something we did or the people we are with, but still, darkness is bleak – and we want out. Yaakov also felt that way, he was far from home and something unexpected happened – the sun set for “him”. The sun set earlier than usual. At that point of confusion, of sudden darkness, Yaakov cried out that Maariv and when we Daven Maariv or say any prayer when feeling a sudden darkness, we connect to the sparks that Yaakov left behind. Out of all the forefathers; Avraham, Yitzchak and Yaakov – Yaakov was the one that personifies you and I the most for only one nation came from him – Yisrael, us.
Yaakov knew that one day a child of his would also feel this darkness, and that even in that extreme darkness – perhaps the darkest moment of our lives where there seems to be no way out, we pray. This is the way of Yaakov, the way of Yisrael, the way of you and I.
And through our prayers in the darkness, in the lowliness, what happens – “Yaakov arose early in the morning…” Perhaps the sun rose for Yaakov earlier than usual – for through his prayers in darkness came an expedited light. Through our prayers and trust in Above we can bring darkness to light, faster than we have ever thought was possible.