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Rachel took Lavan's terafim and hid them. Yaakov pronounced what some commentators view as a curse on anyone who had them (not just the one with whom they were found, but even if they were not found as the Riva comments on Rashi).

עם אשר תמצא את אלהיך וגו' פרש"י ומאותה קללה מתה רחל בדרך. וק' שהרי לא מצא לבן את התרפים וא"כ מנ"ל שנענשה רחל מאותה קללה וי"ל משום דאמרינן קללת חכם אפי' לחנם היא באה:

This curse led to Rachel's death (according to this understanding). But did anyone ever find out that Rachel had the idols or make the connection between the curse and her death? Did Yaakov ever learn that it was his words which condemned her to a death sentence? (could he have undone his curse if he knew?)

  • I remember hearing a pshat that when the shevatim went down to mitzrayim and they came back to Yaakov to tell him about the one in charge (Yosef) who is causing issues for them ,Yaakov could have easily said that the leader should be killed ,but he didn't say anything because he remembered what his words did to Rachel. Will try and source it. – sam Nov 18 '18 at 4:51
  • Interesting to note: in Genesis 35:1-4, Jacob requests his household to hand over "foreign dieties", and he buries them underneath a tree in Shechem. Perhaps the teraphim were discovered then, because shortly after this, Rachel dies (ibid. 35:17-20). That could be a fulfillment of Jacob's curse, that anyone found in possession of the teraphim was to die. – ezra Nov 18 '18 at 17:19
  • @sam I fail to see how that helps answer the question. – ezra Nov 18 '18 at 17:20
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    Beacuse he remembered what he said about anyonen who stole the terafim – sam Nov 18 '18 at 17:57
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From the Chafetz Chaim's pshat on this passuk it seems that Yaakov did indeed know that his words killed Rachel (since he cursed the one who stole the terafim). From then on he was very careful with his words,as we see with the episode with the Shevatim going down to mitzrayim.

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