(Haftara: Hoshea 12:13-14:10)
- [29:32…] Ya’akov does not give names to any of his children. His wives name them all. Why is this?
- [30:16] “Come to me (for sexual relations) because I have hired you with my son’s mandrakes”. Laya tells Ya’akov that she has hired him for the night. Isn’t this shocking!! Why doesn’t Ya’akov protest?
- [31:13] The reason that Ya’akov and his family are leaving Lavan is because God told him to leave. However, when telling his wives, he emphasizes the fact that it’s difficult to live with Lavan and his family. He mentions God’s command to leave only as an afterthought. Why does Ya’akov do this?
- [31:27] “…and you did not tell me…” Why didn’t Ya’akov tell Lavan that he and his family were leaving?
- [Hosea 13:6] “They were filled, and their heart was exalted/Therefore they have forgotten Me”. Does being satisfied necessarily mean that one forgets God?
- [Famous joke question: 28:10] “And Ya’akov left Be’er Sheva…” How is this pasuk a proof that a man should wear a kippah on his head? Answer: Would Ya’akov go without a kippah?
[28:10] “And Ya’akov left Be’er Sheva and went to Kharan”.
Rashi: (It is unnecessary to say that Ya’akov left Be’er Sheva.) “This is coming to tell us that when a tzaddik leaves a place, it makes an impression.”
Why is it that when Avraham left his place in Sumer, it does not say, “And Avraham left…” Did his leaving not make an impression, while Ya’akov’s leaving did?
Ya’akov left his father and mother behind, and they were spiritually perceptive people, so they felt Ya’akov’s absence. Avraham, however, left behind a culture of idolatry. They didn’t see that Avraham was special when he was there, and they didn’t notice his absence when he was gone.
–R. Moshe Schreiber, the Chatam Sofer, 1762-1839, Germany/Bratislava