Dor Revii: Time to Backtrack? Or, Perhaps, Not!

BibleThe Dor Revii (Chullin 91b) has a different reading of a famous story: Jacob had almost arrived in Haran, when he realized that he had passed Mt. Moriah without stopping to pray. “Is it possible that I will pass the place where Abraham was willing to sacrifice Isaac, and Isaac was willing to die for God, and not stop there to pray?” He immediately set his mind to return to Mt. Moriah and God folded the earth underneath Jacob, so he reached there in one single step. The Dor Revii says that Yaakov did not make up his mind to return to Moriah, but to Yeshiva! “Is it possible that I would pass such a place without stopping to pray? Look at what happens when one leaves Yeshiva!” He immediately made up his mind to return to Yeshiva. God folded the earth underneath Jacob, so he would not return to Yeshiva but to Moriah. God then taught Yaakov through the dream of the ladder that one cannot hide in Yeshiva. One must be a climber. One must learn how to live in the world and still climb up the spiritual ladder to the Highest heavens.