In Bereshit 31:35 we learn that Rachel was able to hide the Teraphim under her saddle by telling her father Lavan that "The way of women is upon me", presumably a euphemism for menstruation.

Just a few chapters later, though, while still travelling from Paddan-aram to Eprath, (Bereshit 35:16) we have her giving birth to Benjamin.

Since she would presumably have been well advanced in her pregnancy at the time the incident at Galeed occurred, and Lavan was a wily trickster, this successful deceit seems problematic.

Are there any traditional sources that discuss how Rachel Imeinu was able to deceive her father?

  • 2
    Ramban seems to ask this question but his answer doesn't address it at all.
    – user9643
    Nov 18, 2018 at 20:04

1 Answer 1


The Midrash (Megillah 17a) says Yaakov spent 2 years tarrying on his way back from Lavan (18 months in Sukkot and 6 months in Beit-El). So there's no way Rachel was already pregnant when she saw her father.

Even from the verses, what you describe as "just a few chapters later" doesn't seem to have been so quick. In 33:17-18 we have Yaakov arriving in two different places and setting up infrastructure in each. It seems a bit odd that Yaakov would build houses, set up farm sheds, and buy land if he was staying for just a few weeks.

  • One could argue setting up infrastructure for a sojourn of less than two years is also counterproductive, but, nonetheless, this midrash does indeed answer my question in full. Nov 18, 2018 at 21:20

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