At the beginning of Yaakov’s long journey, he stopped in Beit El, where he slept, dreamt, and erected a monument. At that place, he swore that if he would return in peace to his father’s house, he would make the place of the monument a “house of G-d”.
Last week we looked into the dangers of Jews becoming overly socially connected to the members of other nations. The issue comes to the fore again in this week’s parasha. After the confrontation and conciliation between Yaakov and Lavan, a feast took place between the two sides. The Torah tells us that Yaakov “called to his brothers to eat bread,” which they did before retiring on the mountain (Bereishit 31:54). The question that the Rabbis ask is: who were these brothers of Yaakov? Different answers are presented.
The Torah tells us that Yaakov spent a momentous night in the makom (place) (Bereishit 28:11). A few years ago, we explained that this word, especially when it also appears with the word shem (name), refers to a Divine Presence at the place. So what special place was it at which Yaakov had his dream and revelation?