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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 ...
Meir's user avatar
  • 9,812
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 ...
Mordechai's user avatar
  • 3,460
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 ...
Alex's user avatar
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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 ...
Alex's user avatar
  • 49.6k
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 ...
sabbahillel's user avatar
  • 43.2k
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 ...
Dov's user avatar
  • 33.5k
6 votes

Is the pillar that Jacob stood upright, and poured ablations on in Genesis 28:22 still extant? IE: Can I go visit it?

It seems that you're conflating the stone that Jacob put under his head (v. 11) and later annointed (v. 18) with the ladder he saw in his dream (v. 12). It seems clear that the former is a real object,...
Isaac Moses's user avatar
  • 48.2k
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 ...
רבות מחשבות's user avatar
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 ...
Meir's user avatar
  • 9,812
5 votes

Malachim climbing ladders

As far as the first question: Why do malachim need a ladder? Can't they fly or have some other form of supernatural transportation? I heard from Rabbi Shlomo Farhi quoting Rabbi Moshe Weinberger the ...
Dov's user avatar
  • 33.5k
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 ...
Dov's user avatar
  • 33.5k
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 ...
sabbahillel's user avatar
  • 43.2k
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 ...
David Kenner's user avatar
  • 10.8k
4 votes

Does a Tzadik have a Yetzer Harah?

You are asking many questions. I will answer the one in the title. The gemara says explicitly that, the greater a person, the greater his yetzer hara (Sukka 52a) כל הגדול מחבירו יצרו גדול הימנו ...
mbloch's user avatar
  • 53.1k
4 votes
Accepted

When did Yaakov's stones become one?

This midrash appears in the Bavli, Chulin 91 amud 2. (Midrash Raba 68 discusses the stones' merging, but not their argument.) Rashi on Chumash and Maharsha on Chulin say that Yaakov made a sort of ...
msh210's user avatar
  • 73.4k
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,...
Eliyahu's user avatar
  • 5,465
4 votes

Different endings for Haftarat Vayetze and Haftarat Shuvah?

R. Kaganoff in this shi'ur suggests that: The stumbling of the evil is not inherently a bad thing, and, for this reason, this is considered an appropriate place to end the haftarah on Vayeitzei. ...
Joel K's user avatar
  • 43.8k
4 votes

Did anyone (especially Yaakov) ever find out about the idols?

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 ...
sam's user avatar
  • 42.2k
4 votes

How is it possible that Leah was the first person to thank Hashem?

It is not a Rishon, but the Ksav Sofer (2nd paragraph) brings this question. As you mention, on the surface this is hard to understand, especially since there were a number of righteous people that ...
Dov's user avatar
  • 33.5k
4 votes

How did Ya'akov know that Lavan was a swindler?

The Midrash Lekach Tov (collected by Rav Toviah Ben Eliezer 11th century) Bereishis 28,15 says that G-d informed Yaakov he would protect him against Lavan in the prophetic vision (with the Ladder and ...
user15464's user avatar
  • 11.5k
4 votes

Why Yakov never learned to love Leah?

An explicit pasuk states that Yaakov loved Leah. Bereishit 29:30: וַיָּבֹא גַּם אֶל-רָחֵל, וַיֶּאֱהַב גַּם-אֶת-רָחֵל מִלֵּאָה; וַיַּעֲבֹד עִמּוֹ, עוֹד שֶׁבַע-שָׁנִים אֲחֵרוֹת. And he went in also ...
josh waxman's user avatar
3 votes

The Stones of Yaakov

The Meiri suggests a non-literal interpretation of the Midrash in his introduction to Beit HaBehira: וכן דרכי התורה יודיעו הטוב והרע והיודעיו ישוב בנקל מחטאיו או ישמור עצמו מתחלתו שלא לעשותם...שאם ...
mevaqesh's user avatar
  • 35.7k
3 votes
Accepted

Unusual format of plural fem. 2nd person pronoun in Gen. 31:6

אַתֵּנָה is the standard form of the second-person feminine personal pronoun. אַתֶּן is a later form. The only place in Tanakh it is found is Ezekiel 34:31. See Blau's Phonology and Morphology of ...
Argon's user avatar
  • 3,847
3 votes

Yaakov Kissing Rachel

Tanhuma Exodus 28, says that "all kisses are of tifluth, except for the kiss of parting, the kiss of honoring and the kiss of meeting." the kiss of meeting is a permissable display of affection ...
Yochanan Mauritz Hummasti's user avatar
3 votes

Who gave Yaakov permission to remove the rock from the well?

No source, but maybe Rachel was the last shepherd to arrive, so it was time to take it off anyway. He just did it for them. The impressive part is that he did it by himself when it usually took the ...
Heshy's user avatar
  • 9,234
3 votes

Why did Ya'akov work for Lavan for so long?

“…and the (seven years) seemed to him only a few days, because of the love he had for her.” Genesis 29:20 Abraham Joshua Heschel wrote: Should not the reverse be true, i.e. that a day should ...
Iyyov Ethan's user avatar
3 votes

Why did Ya'akov work for Lavan for so long?

1.Answer by rabeinu Bachya. Rachel was 5 years old that time and could not become a mother if his children, so Yaakov offered Lavan 7 years of labor till she becomes 12. 2.Answer by Pardes Yosef. ...
Dmitry Kalashnik's user avatar
3 votes

Why does the verb PaGA (פגע) mean both to intercede and to arrive?

There is a common source put forth for both arrival and intercession, and it is the concept of contact (=נגיעה). The word appears in parallel to a number of other terms of entreaty in Yirmiyahu 7:16. ...
WAF's user avatar
  • 23.8k
3 votes

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

Rashi says (ibid): "וראשית אוני: היא טפה ראשונה שלו, שלא ראה קרי מימיו:" That is his first drop of semen, for he had never experienced a nocturnal emission. — [from Yeb. 76a] Rashi's ...
Al Berko's user avatar
  • 26k

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