This is a question my son asked I couldn't answer.

  1. Yitzhok was extremely wealthy.
  2. When sending out Eliezer to bring Rivka, Abraham wrote him an inheritance bill for Yitzhok.
  3. When Yaakov "ran away" he took some money that was stolen by Elipaz (acc. to Midrash)
  4. When he finally got to Lavan, Yaacov could easily send messengers back to his father to provide him with all the money he needed to buy Rachel and Leah and whatever he needed to live happily and learn Torah worry-free. However, he never contacted his father (not documented anyway).
  5. The Halocho says we always should minimize our tests (Nisayon) and get out of problematic situations (staying with Lavan, worries with marriages) as fast as possible, and pay all the money needed.

So why didn't he do it?

  • How could Yaacov could "easily" send messengers back to his father? With what would he pay them? – Avrohom Yitzchok Nov 25 '17 at 19:11
  • Are you serious? to help out a billionaire and his son for a fee? Everyone in Ohr Kasdim would stand in a line! – Al Berko Nov 25 '17 at 19:29
  • Consider sourcing 1-3, and 5. – mevaqesh Nov 25 '17 at 23:11
  • Why do you assume he needed to? Maybe there just wasn’t a need for such wealth. Maybe he just didn’t want it. – DonielF Nov 27 '17 at 1:56
  • Why waist 7 years on living with and working for such a great Rasha? Why couldn't he just grab the girls like Eliezer did and send Lavan the payment. I suppose one is required to pay all the money needed to avoid such a test, instead of boasting later "עם לבן גרתי..." – Al Berko Nov 28 '17 at 0:00

The medrash (cited by Rashi on Genesis 29:11 s.v. "ויבך") that says that Eliphaz stole his wealth, also says he did it at Yaakov's behest in order to justify lying to Esau that he had fulfilled his mission to kill Yaakov (relying on the concept that poverty is likened to death). If Yaakov sent messengers back, there would likely be a substantial risk Esau would find out (which may also help explain why Yaakov never reached out to his parents before Yosef was born).

ויבך: לפי שצפה ברוח הקודש שאינה נכנסת עמו לקבורה. דבר אחר לפי שבא בידים ריקניות, אמר אליעזר עבד אבי אבא היו בידיו נזמים וצמידים ומגדנות, ואני אין בידי כלום. לפי שרדף אליפז בן עשו במצות אביו אחריו להורגו והשיגו, ולפי שגדל אליפז בחיקו של יצחק משך ידו. אמר לו מה אעשה לציווי של אבא, אמר לו יעקב טול מה שבידי, והעני חשוב כמת

and wept: Since he foresaw with the holy spirit that she (Rachel) would not enter the grave with him. Another explanation: Since he came empty-handed, he said, “Eliezer, my grandfather’s servant, had nose rings, and bracelets and sweet fruits in his possession, and I am coming with nothing in my hands. [He had nothing] because Eliphaz the son of Esau had pursued him to kill him at his father’s orders; he (Eliphaz) overtook him, but since he had grown up in Isaac’s lap, he held back his hand. He said to him (Jacob), ”What shall I do about my father’s orders?“ Jacob replied,”Take what I have, for a poor man is counted as dead." - [from Bereishit Rabbathi by Rabbi Moshe Hadarshan]

  • Couldn't the messengers inform his parents instead of esav? – mevaqesh Nov 25 '17 at 23:21
  • @me Considering Yitzchak did not necessarily know of Esau's vow (and that word of mouth has a tendency to spread), that seems somewhat risky.) – Loewian Nov 25 '17 at 23:33
  • This Midrash is very problematic and does not answer the question. As Eisov respected his father in a very pious ways, he wore to kill Yaakov only after Yitzhok dies. This does not fit. Besides, after Yaakov arrived to Lavan, everybody knew who he was - the son of Yitzhok the magnate, and it was much easier for Lavan to ask for a greater and more immediate payment from Yitzhok, than wait 7 years for Yaakov's work. What would you do if Warren Buffet's son come to you, would you make use of his father or ask him to work for you 7 years? – Al Berko Nov 26 '17 at 19:27

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