“וַיְצַו אֹתָם, לֵאמֹר, כֹּה תֹאמְרוּן, לַאדֹנִי לְעֵשָׂו: כֹּה אָמַר, עַבְדְּךָ יַעֲקֹב, עִם-לָבָן גַּרְתִּי, וָאֵחַר עַד-עָתָּה”
“He also commanded them saying, “Thus you shall say to my lord Esau: ‘Thus says your servant Jacob, “I have sojourned with Laban, and stayed until now;”
Rabbi Yitzchak in the Zohar explains that impure attracts impurity and causes a negative environment. That creates a separation and a greater distance from the side of holiness.
Rabbi Yehuda asks: is it proper to say that Jacob, who was holy, became impure or impacted with the witchcrafts of Laban?
When Jacob said “I have sojourned with Laban” it was a praise for him because he kept himself strong and pure by following the precepts of the Torah. The word “גַּרְתִּי”, “sojourned”, has a numerical value of 613, which is the number of precepts in the Torah.
Another point that the Zohar brings is when Jacob identified himself as Esau. (Genesis 27:19) “I am, Esau your firstborn”.
By presenting himself as Esau, Jacob connected to the impurity of his brother. The Zohar explains that the word אנכי, “I am” and “Esau your firstborn” have special cantillation marks that separates the “I am” from “Esau…” so when Jacob came to get the blessings from his father, Isaac, he said “I am” with the consciousness of “I am Jacob who is present here and in front of you” and then “Esau your firstborn”. That made a big difference in the reality of the moment and Jacob was true and pure when received the first born blessings he bought from Esau earlier.
The Torah scroll doesn’t have verses, vowels (nikud) or cantillation marks. This information and the secrets knowledge of Torah and Kabbalah was given to Moses on Mount Sinai together with the written Torah. That is why listening to the Torah reading on Shabbat is a connection to the revelation on Mount Sinai of the Torah and Kabbalah.
Because the Torah gives us the precepts, the study of Torah through the Zohar is considered as fulfilling all 613 precepts of the Torah. Daily study and Torah reading on Shabbat keep us on the pure side.