Pearls of Rashi: Parshas Vayeitzei II

In this week’s Torah portion, Vayeitzei, we read how Yaakov Avinu worked for his uncle Lovon for seven years. His object was to wed Lovon’s daughter, Rochel. Lovon, who did not have a reputation for being honest, deceived him; he gave him his older daughter Leah instead of Rochel. Yaakov agreed to work for an additional seven years to wed Rochel.

When the seven years came to an end, Yaakov told his father-in-law[1], “Give me my wife (Rochel), for my days are completed, so that I may come to her.'” Rashi cites the words from this verse “for my days are completed.” He explains Yaakov’s seemingly immodest talk as follows. “… My days are completed, for I am already eighty-four years old. When will I raise twelve tribes? This is what he meant by saying ‘that I may come to her.’ Isn’t it true that even the most degenerate person would not speak like that? But Yaakov meant that his intention was to father generations.”

In other words, Yaakov knew prophetically that he would father the twelve tribes of the Jewish Nation, and the entire Jewish people would descend from these tribes. He was already quite old, and he exclaimed that he needed to marry already to be able to fulfill his destiny.

One may ask that despite Rashi’s explanation, Yaakov’s words appear quite inappropriate. How did he speak that way; the Torah commands us to always talk in the nicest and most proper way possible.

This can be understood based on what the Alter Rebbe writes in Tanya regarding the Patriarchs[2]. “They were completely holy and detached from matters of this world … throughout their lives.”

In other words, the Avos’ lives were focused on serving Hashem, nothing else. Therefore, when Yaakov said “that I may come to her, ” he only saw one thing. All it meant to him was fathering the Tribes of Israel and the entire Jewish Nation. In his eyes, there was nothing improper or immodest about it.

As with every word of the Torah, it must teach us a lesson. Each one of us must perform the same actions as our forefathers. However, He does not expect us to reach the spiritual level of Avrohom, Yitzchok, and Yaakov. However, we must strive to focus on the service of Hashem with every fiber of our being.

I wish everyone a good Shabbos,

Rabbi Shmuel Mendelsohn

Adapted from Likkutei Sichos Volume 5, Page 111


DEDICATED IN HONOR OF THE LUBAVITCHER REBBE

IN HONOR OF
The Soldiers of Tzivos Hashem Chaim, Aiden Oded, and Zacharya Matan שיחיו Morris
DEDICATED BY THEIR PARENTS
Rabbi & Mrs. Menachem M. and Chaya Mushka שיחיו Morris


[1]. Our Parshah, Bereishis 29:21.

[2]. See Likkutei Amorim Chapter 23.

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