(Haftara: Hoshea 12:13-14:10)
- [29:20] “…because of his love for her, it seemed like just a few days.” Ya’akov loved Rachel and longed to be with her. Shouldn’t the Torah say that it seemed like a much longer time than seven years. Why might it have seemed like just a few days? When does time seem shorter for us and when does time seem longer for us?
- [29:26] “…In our place, we do not marry off the younger daughter before the older daughter.” Lavan tricked Ya’akov, but he seems to have a good, moral reason for doing it. Nonetheless , our tradition sees Lavan as a cheater and a dishonest person. Ya’akov tricked his father, but our tradition sees Ya’akov as a person of truth. What is the difference between Lavan’s trickery, and Ya’akov’s trickery?
- [29:32] “…now my husband will love me.” Laya yearned so much for Ya’akov’s love. Some of our commentators see Laya as a very sensitive and a very spiritual person. Did her longing for Ya’akov contribute to these qualities? In Chassidut, longing for God or for goodness is considered a positive quality. What are the positive effects of yearning and what are the negative effects of yearning?
- [31:24] “…be careful not to say anything good or bad to Ya’akov.” Why did God tell Lavan not to even say anything good to Ya’akov?
- [Haftara: Hosea 14:3] “Take words with you, and return to God.” One of the laws of repentance is that a person has to confess his or her sins. Why is it so important to actually express one’s sins to God with words? Shouldn’t it be enough to sincerely regret what one has done?
God’s purpose in creation could have been fulfilled with the creation of a single creature to accept His good. Such a creature, however, could never truly resemble God. God, Himself is a bestower of good, and if only one creature existed, then to whom would it do good? Certainly not to God, for God has no needs. It is for this reason that God created the world as an arena for an entire species of man.
–R. Aryeh Kaplan, 1934 -1983, USA.
This study page is dedicated to the memory of Gad Eliahu ben David and Kochava–Eli Zucker
And to the memory of Sarah Bella bat Yitzchak Kummer, Chaim Yosef Yechiel ben Eliyahu Kummer and Eliyahu and Margaret Kummer