The torah documents the positive attributes of Sarah, Rifka and Rochel. Chazal then expound in greater detail about these righteous women. But from the torah and chazal there doesn't appear to be any material indicating any specially positive attributes about Leah. What was so special about Leah that she merited to marry Yaakov and be considered a matriarch of klall yisroel?

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    Can you document some of the positive attributes attributed to the other matriarchs? – msh210 Dec 5 '12 at 20:08
  • What about Bilhah and Zilpah? – b a Dec 6 '12 at 3:31
  • how can a question with 3 answers have a -1? hayitochein? – user2110 Dec 6 '12 at 15:31

Well for starters it is mentioned that her eyes were "Rakos" since she cried a lot as she did not want to end up with Eisav. This shows that she appreciated only good.

In addition she gave up having another boy - Rashi Breishis 30:21 - in order for her sister not to feel as the one with the least boys.

  • not sure what you mean by gave up having another boy. Can you source? Can Leah control such things? – user2110 Dec 5 '12 at 20:23
  • Rakkos sounds more like "dainty" which is a parallel compliment to Rachel's pretty face. – Double AA Dec 5 '12 at 20:27
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    @nikmasi. See Rashi to Bereshis 30:21. – Michoel Dec 5 '12 at 20:50
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    @nikmasi it seems that Gershon Gold has given a makor: Rashi on Bereshit 30:21. She prayed for it the prayer was apparantly accepted. – yair Dec 5 '12 at 20:51
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    @DoubleAA OK. I wasn't aware of it. Thanks for clarifying. – yair Dec 5 '12 at 23:54

In addition to Gershon Gold's answer, there's also Bereshit 30:17:

וישמע אלהים אל לאה

and Rashi says there:

שהיתה מתאוה ומחזרת להרבות שבטים

which is also a good thing.

Oh, and an even stronger makor, Leah was also a prophet, as said in Rashi on Bereshit 29:34 :

ותהר עוד ותלד בן ותאמר עתה הפעם ילוה אישי אלי כי ילדתי לו שלשה בנים על כן קרא שמו לוי

Rashi says:

לפי שהאמהות נביאות היו ויודעות שי"ב שבטים יוצאים מיעקב וארבע נשים ישא אמרה מעתה אין לו פתחון פה עלי שהרי נטלתי כל חלקי בבנים

  • neither of those are necessarily positive character traits. Nor do they seem to be in any way exceptional. – user2110 Dec 5 '12 at 21:08
  • @nikmasi, if you want to start comparing how great certain traits were it's certainly worth adding into the question some of the traits of the other matriarchs such that we can see what kind of traits you are looking for. – Double AA Dec 5 '12 at 23:42
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    @nikmasi 1) running after mitzvot - זריזין מקדימין למצוות- is certainly positive; 2) being a prophet is something one can achieve only after having Ruach HaKodesh, which is achieved only after trailing the whole messilat yesharim, as mentioned by the Ramcahl, that cites the known Braitah (Avoda Zara 20b): Therefore said R Pinchas Ben Yair: Torah brings Zehirut, Zehirut brings Zerizut ... Kedusha brings Ruach HaKodesh. This isn't only a mere positive character trait, its devine evidence of having an oustanding character. – yair Dec 5 '12 at 23:51
  • That is, prophecy is not itself something good the person does that merits reward but, rather, perhaps indication that he's done good that merits reward. – msh210 Dec 6 '12 at 15:06

We know why she married yaakov- lavan tricked him. What makes the avos/ imahos who they were vs 12 tribes? Think process of selection;; rejection in genesis

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    Is this a guessing game? Please edit in more details to answer the question or I will convert this into a comment instead of an answer. – Double AA Dec 6 '12 at 13:34

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