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  • Yehuda Pevzner

Breaking Through

In this week’s Torah portion, Hashem blesses Jacob: “​​You shall spread out powerfully…and all the families on earth will be blessed through you.” The word for "you shall spread out powerfully" (ufaratzta) literally means "you shall break through," as through a barrier. This blessing refers not only to Jacob's success and his physical progeny, but also to his message to the world, a message of and light, which will be ultimately disseminated throughout when Moshiach ushers in an era of unprecedented Divine consciousness, breaking through all the pre-existing barriers. As a result, all of humanity will devote themselves to making the world into a spiritual, Divine paradise.

Moshiach comes from the tribe of Judah, and specifically a descendant of Judah's son Peretz, whose name also means "breaking through,” and Moshiach himself is referred to as “the one who breaks through.”

The blessing was also fulfilled to a certain degree in Jacob's lifetime, in the context of his miraculous success in amassing wealth, power and influence. In the verse, "The man thus became exceedingly prosperous," the word for "became prosperous" (yifratz) also literally means "break through."

There is a pattern here. The ultimate secret to true success is contained within this concept of “breaking through.” We can tap into it in our own lives right now. In order to draw blessings and attract success that is beyond the normal bounds of nature, i.e., to achieve a breakthrough, we ourselves must break through our own limitations by going beyond the norm. For example, we typically set a number of hours for certain activities, in order to fulfill a defined requirement. When we throw ourselves heart and soul into the activity – such as prayer, study, giving charity or doing acts of kindness – going beyond the typical requirements, we have broken out of that limitation. And, as a result, we shift reality – including the blessings we elicit and the successes we achieve – to a place that breaks through and transcends the usual limitations.

Shabbat Shalom, Am Yisrael Chai!

Light Shabbat Candles today before 4:14 PM


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