The Gemara in Kiddushin says that due to 'Veahavta Lereacha Kamocha' one must look at the Kallah before consummating the marriage.

How come Ya'acov didn't see Rachel the night of the wedding? (We know this from the fact he relied on the simanim he gave rachel)

  • Please feel free to add the precise source Jan 19 '15 at 18:16
  • 1
    Are you assuming that the g'mara's directive there is a mitzva mid'Oraisa?
    – WAF
    Jan 19 '15 at 18:21
  • @WAF And that yaakov was obligated in it.
    – Double AA
    Jan 19 '15 at 18:22
  • 1
    @DoubleAA Well, if there's one masechta with which that assumption would be consonant it's Kidushin.
    – WAF
    Jan 19 '15 at 18:25
  • 3
    Perhaps the reason one has to see the Kallah prior to marrying her is due to the fact that Yaakov married the wrong one by not seeing her. Jan 19 '15 at 19:15

The complete text of the passage in Kiddushin (41a) to which you are referring is:

אמר רב יהודה אמר רב אסור לאדם שיקדש את האשה עד שיראנה שמא יראה בה דבר מגונה ותתגנה עליו ורחמנא אמר (ויקרא יט, יח) ואהבת לרעך כמוך

It is forbidden for a man to betroth a woman before he sees her, lest he see in her something repulsive and she be repulsive to him, and the Torah says "You shall love your fellow like yourself"

There is no mention of this requirement being at all related specifically to the night of the wedding. Furthermore, the source text and the reasoning have no reason to apply specifically to that night - if he has seen her within any reasonable time period in which he can assume she hasn't drastically changed for the worse, this concern should be obviated.

Furthermore, the context of this Gemara is clearly not referring to consummation of the marriage, as you assume - the Mishna on which this statement is made (and the statement itself) are about Kiddushin, which in the times of the Talmud happened a full 12 months before consummation of the marriage5 (Mishna Kesubos 57a).

Yaakov saw Rachel many times. He presumably must have seen her shortly before the wedding, as he gave her the simanim to which you refer in your question. So he would have no problem with this Halacha, assuming it applied to him.

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