18 votes

How did Jacob manage to have 12 children in 7 years?

The Rashbam to Bereishis 43:33 writes that not only were the 6 sons of Leah born in 7 years, but also all of the other sons of Yaakov (with the obvious exception of Binyamin, who is explicitly ...
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17 votes

How could Yaakov have relations with a wife (Leah) whom he hated?

As per DanF's comment and the commentary of the Stone Chumash: Ramban cites Radak that Jacob surely loved Leah, but that his greater love for Rachel made her seem unloved -- or even hated -- by ...
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  • 36.8k
13 votes

Why was Rachel shepherding instead of Leah?

Ramban there offers a couple of reasons: Leah's eyes were weak (29:17), so the sun would be harmful to her. Precisely because she was older, so there was more of a concern that the shepherds would ...
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  • 7,477
11 votes

How Halachic is Yaakov's reply to Rachel's begging him for children?

Actually, Chazal tell us that this was not an entirely correct response (Bereshis Rabah 78:7): וַיִּחַר אַף יַעֲקֹב בְּרָחֵל וַיֹּאמֶר וגו', אָמַר לוֹ הַקָּדוֹשׁ בָּרוּךְ הוּא כָּךְ עוֹנִים אֶת ...
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  • 3,334
10 votes
Accepted

Why did Yaakov wait to marry?

The Maharam Shik posed this question in the first teshuva on Even Ha'ezer. (See the second and third paragraphs here). He says that the Avot wanted to have holy descendants and therefore delayed the ...
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  • 1,319
10 votes

How could Yaakov have relations with a wife (Leah) whom he hated?

Rav Hirsch explains that Not "Ki Leah Senuah", that Leah was hated, but כִּי שְׂנוּאָה לֵאָה that the hated one of the two, i.e. the less beloved, was Leah. ... It is significant that the real ...
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10 votes

How was Reuven considered Yaakov's first drop of semen?

One possibility is that the verses in Chapter 29 are not in precise chronological order, and verse 31 actually took place before verse 28. That is to say that God saw that Leah was hated and opened ...
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  • 48.1k
8 votes
Accepted

Gad, Asher, and Dinah: absolutely, totally, and in all other ways inconceivable?

Rashi (Bereshis 30, pasuk 10) answers on Zilpah that she was very young and the pregnancy was not visible, therefore the verse that she got pregnant was not cited. Regarding Dinah, it could be like ...
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8 votes

Is there any particular reason why Haran (חָרָן) is spelled as חָרָנָה in B'resheith 27:43 & 28:10?

The Talmud (Yevamot 13b) states: ובית הלל כיון דכתיב חוצה כמאן דכתיב לחוץ דמי דתניא ר׳ נחמיה אומר כל תיבה שצריכה למ״ד בתחלתה הטיל לה הכתוב ה״א בסופה ותנא דבי ר׳ ישמעאל כגון אלים אלימה מחנים מחנימה ...
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7 votes
Accepted

Why didn't Rivka summon Yaakov?

Actually Rivka did send Devora to call Yaakov, however she died on the way. Rashi Braishis 35:8 in the name of Rabbi Moshe Hadarshan "מה עניין דבורה בבית יעקב? אלא לפי שאמרה רבקה ליעקב (כ"ז, מה) '...
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7 votes

How could Yaakov have relations with a wife (Leah) whom he hated?

Bava Basra 123a says that since she hated the ways of Eisav therefore she got pregnant. אלא ראה הקב״ה ששנואין מעשה עשו בפניה ויפתח רחמה
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6 votes
Accepted

Why didn't Rochel just destroy the idols?

As pointed out (in name of Ramban), they were not necessarily idols, so didn't have to be destroyed. This still leaves the question of why would she need them in her possession. Some sources(eg. 1) ...
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  • 2,094
6 votes
Accepted

Why didn't Esav try to kill Ya'akov while Ya'akov was in Lavan's home?

Yitzchak was still alive long after the events in Vyishshlach so Eisav would not have gone to Lavan's house to kill Yaakov. Yitzchak was still alive when Yosef was sent to Mitzraim. Yitzchak died at ...
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6 votes

The birth of Reuven does not result in Yaakov loving Leah?

First of all, Rav Hirsch points out that the precise language involved Vayeitzei 29:31 וַיַּ֤רְא יְהֹוָה֙ כִּֽי־שְׂנוּאָ֣ה לֵאָ֔ה וַיִּפְתַּ֖ח אֶת־רַחְמָ֑הּ וְרָחֵ֖ל עֲקָרָֽה actually means (in ...
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6 votes
Accepted

Is there any particular reason why Haran (חָרָן) is spelled as חָרָנָה in B'resheith 27:43 & 28:10?

It is a common suffix known in Biblical Hebrew as the 'locative hei' or the 'directional hei' in that by placing it at the end of the said place/location it transforms the meaning to "to that ...
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  • 20.6k
5 votes

Doesn't Yaakov have רוח הקודש

Even a full blown Navi only gets the the messages Hashem sends and regarding anything else can be mistaken. See Taanya, Igeres Hakodesh chapter 22. Otherwise they would all be millionaires.
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  • 32.3k
5 votes

Source that Leah was veiled at her wedding?

The Medrash Raba פרשה ע uses the phrase: בְּרַמְשָׁא אֲתוֹן מַעֲלָתָא וַחֲפוֹן בּוֹצִינַיָא.‏ All the Meforshim translate that as "at night the lads came and turned off [lit. covered] the ...
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5 votes

Why didn't Binyamin die?

Excellent question. Note that R' Yosef Ibn Caspi makes the connection between these two Pesukim as well (although he doesn't mention the same idea as Rashi, nor does he generally subscribe to similar ...
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5 votes

When did G-d say to Yaakov that he will have 12 sons?

Yefeh Einayim there says that Yaakov deduced it from the way the 12 stones joined together (68:11 according to R' Yehuda), or from having been shown the redivision of Eretz Yisroel described in ...
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  • 7,477
4 votes
Accepted

When Yaakov said "whoever stole the idols will not live", was that a curse or vow?

Rashi to the cited verse: לא יחיה: ומאותה קללה מתה רחל בדרך Shall not live: and from that curse Rachel died on the road. So it seems that it was a curse.
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4 votes

Why does the posuk emphasise that Lavan was Ya’akov’s uncle?

The HaKsav VeHakabbalah makes this observation. He writes there: לבן אחי אמו. הזכיר הכתוב כמה פעמים אחי אמו להודיע כי כל מה שהשתדל יעקב בצאן לבן להשקותם ומה שהיה חומל על רחל לא עשה לכבוד לבן (או לפי ...
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  • 20.6k
4 votes

Joseph's name doesn't seem so meaningful, Why?

The Rashbam on that verse says that he is actually named after the prior verse (30:23) - G-d has taken away my reproach., but she changes the Alef to a Yud to ask for another son. So the main name is ...
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  • 31.4k
4 votes

Why was Judah named that: doesn't the name hurt Rachel?

Your analogy is incorrect as it does not apply to what happened to Leah. Leah did not attempt to "take away" a son from Rachel and it was thanks to Hashem who had done this. Rav Hirsch points out that ...
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4 votes

What is Jacob's ladder?

Rav Hirsch on Pasuk 12 says that the ladder (the communication medium) was set up from the heaven to the Earth and was placed there deliberately (not by chance) by Hashem to the Earth. However, its ...
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4 votes
Accepted

Why is there a change in the compass directions between Abraham and Jacob?

1) The Baal HaTurim asks your question (Gen. 13:14). He explains that Abraham was told the directions starting with the north in order to acknowledge the merit of Abraham's korbanos, which are to be ...
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  • 10.4k
4 votes
Accepted

How what Lea said is not hutzpo

See Nedarim 20b with Rashi (end of the Perek) as well as Eiruvin 100b that addresses this question and makes it clear that she did not actually demand it by mouth but rather she hinted it to him. Also,...
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