"Vayeshev" - and he sat. Rashi brings (37;2) that Yaakov Avinu was seeking to sit in peace after his trouble-filled life thusfar. And HaShem said that this world is not for sitting in tranquility, and the Yosef episode followed soon; which was more painful for Yaakov than his previous family plights. The idea is that 'sitting' means being still; one cannot move when one is sitting. Thus, sitting hints towards spiritual stagnation and non-progression. It has been said that the mizbeyach being built with a slope as opposed to steps hints to this too; if one puts a ball on a slope (unlike a step), it will not stay in the same position; either it's pushed up the ramp or rolls down - effort is needed even to just keep the ball in the same position. So too spiritually, there is no such thing as staying still; no effort doesn't mean staying still but rather going down. So let's move on up!
- Written by D Fine
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