Vayetzei - Yaakov's feet carried him
Chananya Weissman


וישא יעקב רגליו

[כט:א] וַיִּשָּׂא יַעֲקֹב רַגְלָיו וַיֵּלֶךְ אַרְצָה בְנֵי קֶדֶם:


משנתבשר בשורה טובה שהובטח בשמירה נשא לבו את רגליו ונעשה קל ללכת. כך מפורש בבראשית רבה:

Nowadays it's all too common for gedolim past and present to be portrayed as entirely otherworldly creatures, devoid of human feelings, human struggles, and human frailties. While there is no question that their relationship with Hashem and the world around them is significantly different than that of ordinary people, it is disingenuous and no service to anyone to take this to an extreme. It is precisely because our gedolim share our experiences, that they too had to climb the ladder one rung at a time to achieve greatness, that they are relevant role models for us to learn from.

Indeed, the Torah and the Gemara are filled with anecdotes that portray gedolim in a less than flattering light, as the authors of both understood that this does not diminish their greatness or their relevance to future generations. It is only in modern times that a spirit of censorship and falsehood has overtaken much of the religious community, and no good has come of it.

We see from the above pasuk that Yaakov approached his exodus from home with less than the highest degree of confidence, and only attained that confidence after being assured directly by Hashem that things would turn out well. No less a giant than Yaakov needed chizuk! Nowadays it would naturally be assumed that someone even well below his stature would have full faith and confidence at all times that "everything will be okay", and that anything less than that would be a "lack of bitachon".

The Torah teaches us otherwise, that one need not expect everything to be okay to be a believer in Hashem, and that it is perfectly normal for even the greatest of people to worry when faced with a difficult situation. We can take solace from Yaakov's struggles that our own struggles are legitimate and should be addressed, not repressed.