83. וַיְהִי רָעָב בָּאָרֶץ מִלְּבַד הָרָעָב הָרִאשׁוֹן וְגוֹ’. רַבִּי יְהוּדָה פָּתַח וְאָמַר, (שם יא) ה’ צַדִּיק יִבְחָן וְרָשָׁע וְאֹהֵב [ר”ת נָחָשׁ] חָמָס שָׂנְאָה נַפְשׁוֹ. כַּמָּה מַעֲשֵׂי הַקָּדוֹשׁ בָּרוּךְ הוּא מְתֻקָּנִים, וְכָל מַה שֶּׁהוּא עוֹשֶׂה – הַכֹּל עַל הַדִּין וְהָאֱמֶת, כַּכָּתוּב (דברים לב) הַצּוּר תָּמִים פָּעֳלוֹ כִּי כָל דְּרָכָיו מִשְׁפָּט אֵל אֱמוּנָה וְאֵין עָוֶל צַדִּיק וְיָשָׁר הוּא.
84. בֹּא רְאֵה, לֹא דָן הַקָּדוֹשׁ בָּרוּךְ הוּא אֶת אָדָם הָרִאשׁוֹן עַד שֶׁצִּוָּה אוֹתוֹ לְתוֹעַלְתּוֹ שֶׁלֹּא יִסְטֶה לִבּוֹ וּרְצוֹנוֹ לְדֶרֶךְ אַחֶרֶת כְּדֵי שֶׁלֹּא יִטָּמֵא, וְהוּא לֹא נִשְׁמַר, וְעָבַר עַל מִצְווֹת אֲדוֹנוֹ, וְאַחַר כֵּן דָּן אוֹתוֹ בְּדִין.
Rabbi Yehuda said that it was the same case with Laban, because he was a sorcerer, as it is written,
“וַיֹּאמֶר אֵלָיו לָבָן אִם נָא מָצָאתִי חֵן בְּעֵינֶיךָ נִחַשְׁתִּי וַיְבָרֲכֵנִי יְהוָה בִּגְלָלֶךָ.”
“And Laban said to him, “Please stay if I have found favor in your eyes, for I have learned by experience that YHVH has blessed me for your sake.”
Even though Jacob was a peaceful and righteous man, he had to be deceitful with Laban. Jacob had in him the two aspects of Mercy and judgment because he unites Chessed on the Right, and Gevurah on the Left. He acted with mercy with people who treated him with mercy, and he would go with harsh judgment and deceit with those who deserved it.
“עִם חָסִיד תִּתְחַסָּד עִם גְּבַר תָּמִים תִּתַּמָּם.”
“With the pure, You will show Yourself pure; And with the devious, You will show Yourself shrewd.”
Rabbi Yehuda quotes Genesis 26:1
“וַיְהִי רָעָב בָּאָרֶץ מִלְּבַד הָרָעָב הָרִאשׁוֹן אֲשֶׁר הָיָה בִּימֵי אַבְרָהָם וַיֵּלֶךְ יִצְחָק אֶל אֲבִימֶּלֶךְ מֶלֶךְ פְּלִשְׁתִּים גְּרָרָה.”
“There was a famine in the land, besides the first famine that was in the days of Abraham. And Isaac went to Abimelech king of the Philistines, in Gerar.”
And says; Psalms 11:5
“יְהוָה צַדִּיק יִבְחָן וְרָשָׁע וְאֹהֵב חָמָס שָׂנְאָה נַפְשׁוֹ.”
“YHVH tests the righteous, But the wicked and the one who loves violence His soul hates.”
Rabbi Yehuda explains that the deeds of the Holy One Blessed be He are all in order and right. Everything he does is based on truth and justice as it is written;
“הַצּוּר תָּמִים פָּעֳלוֹ כִּי כָל דְּרָכָיו מִשְׁפָּט אֵל אֱמוּנָה וְאֵין עָוֶל צַדִּיק וְיָשָׁר הוּא.”
“He is the Rock, His work is perfect; For all His ways are justice, A God of truth and without injustice; Righteous and upright is He.”
The Holy One Blessed be He did not judge Adam, only after he gave him instructions that would benefit him, that he would not incline his heart and desire for another way, that is, that he should not eat from the tree of knowledge so that he would not be defiled. Adam didn’t follow God’s instructions and ate from the Tree of Knowledge Good and Bad. After that the Holy One Blessed be He judged him.
Our studies of the Torah and Zohar teach us the ways to connect to the Good side of the Tree of Knowledge that governs this world. When we are on the ‘good side’ of the Tree, we have access to the Tree of Life and benefit from it.
We learn above how Jacob treated others with Mercy and judgment as it was proper. We are not balanced as Jacob so we need to avoid the ‘Left’ and judgments because we don’t have perfect balance like Jacob. If we go Left, we may lose the hold to the Right and lose the connection to the Tree of Life. When we are in stress or in a ‘dark’ situation we pray to Hashem for support because as we read above “He is the Rock, His work is perfect; For all His ways are justice, A God of truth and without injustice; Righteous and upright is He.”
Friday is a good day to make a Donation and expand the vessel for the Light and honor of Shabbat.