Photo Credit: Jewish Press

It wasn’t a miracle.

Rav Chaim Shmuelevitz emphasized again and again when he taught this parshah that Yaakov moving the massive stone from the well was not a miracle. Yet, it was not a matter of physical strength either. It was a matter of heart and faith.


Just prior to this event, Yaakov had dreamed his famous “Jacob’s Ladder” dream. He heard promises from G-d about his purpose and glorious future. After he understood the significance of his journey and mission, he succeeded in lifting the massive stone by himself. Rav Shmuelevitz comments:

“It was not a matter of physical strength, but of willpower. And willpower is stronger. In challenging moments, you discover powerful inner forces and fiery enthusiasm that go above and beyond mere physical prowess. Natural forces in a human being depend on spiritual forces. When you act with all the forces of your soul, you have the power to far exceed customary human strength.”

It was not a miracle, but a natural consequence of what happens when we are motivated to live up to our full potential. Each one of us – given a purpose, a vision, a dream of a glorious future – has the power to make that dream come true.

(Translation by Yehoshua Siskin)


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Sivan Rahav-Meir, a ba’alas teshuvah, is one of the most popular media personalities in Israel. She is a Channel 2 News anchor, a columnist for Yediot Aharonot, and the host of a weekly radio show on Galei Tzahal. Every day she shares short Torah thoughts to over 100,000 Israelis – both observant and not – via Facebook, Twitter, and WhatsApp.