What does the Torah mean when it writes that, "Yaakov lifted his feet"?


Rashi (from Bereishis Rabah 70:8): Following the good news that he had just received, his heart lifted his feet as it were, and he was fleet of foot.


Ohr ha'Chayim #1: He was poor and had nothing to carry, except for his feet. 1


Seforno: As opposed to someone who departs from a place because he has nowhere to stay, in which case his legs carry him, 2 when someone leaves with the intention of reaching a specific destination, he carries his feet.


Ohr ha'Chayim #2: He only needed to lift his feet, and Eretz Bnei Kedem came to him.


Malbim: Until now, it is as if his legs took him Bal Korcho (against his will). After Hashem's promises, he carried his legs.


Ha'amek Davar: One who need not beware of obstacles, his legs carry him, and he can think about other matters. Bnei Eretz Kena'an were steeped in idolatry, but not in witchcraft. Yaakov was not concerned lest he desire idolatry, so his legs carried him. Now he was heading to Aram, where they practiced witchcraft and sought to know the future. Yaakov was worried lest this tempt him, so he carried his legs (was careful about every step).


Oznayim la'Torah: The Midrash explains how David would plan to go to a certain destination, but his feet would automatically take him to the Batei Kenesiyos and the Batei Midrashos. Certainly, Yaakov (the prince of Torah) would either have done likewise or he would have opted to remain in the vicinity of the Beis-Hamikdash. However, his father had instructed him to go to Charan, so he lifted his feet and went there.


Perhaps he did not carry his staff; it helped him to walk. (PF)


As the Pasuk writes in Yeshayah 3:27.


Why did he go to the land of Bnei Kedem? He was heading for Charan!


Moshav Zekenim: He went to Charan, returned to Har ha'Moriyah, 1 and then went to learn from Shem 2 and Ever, who were in Har ha'Kedem (10:21, 24, 30).


Ha'amek Davar: It says "Bnei Kedem" because in Aram they engaged in witchcraft, like people of the [far] east, to where Avraham sent Bnei Keturah. Also, Bil'am [the sorcerer] said, "Min Aram... me Harerei Kedem" (Bamidbar 23:7).


Rashi brought a Midrash that he lay down there, but not in his years in Beis Ever (which seems to imply that Yaakov learned before he visited Har ha'Moriyah). One can explain that he went to Beis Ever afterwards, just like another opinion in the Midrash infers that he lay down there, but not in Beis Lavan (refer to 28:11:9:1, and 28:11:9:2).


Shem died in the year 2156. According to Megilah 17a, Yaakov left Yitzchak when he was 63, in the year 2171! (PF)

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