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by Zvi Akiva Fleisher

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Ch. 28, v. 10: "Va'yeitzei" - And he left - The four letters of this word are an acronym for "V'ossoh Yaakov Tzavo'as Oviv." (Minchoh V'luloh) Perhaps we can add that it is likewise an acronym for "V'ossoh Yaakov Tzavo'as Imo." He left to fulfill his father's wishes to find a wife and also to fulfill his mother's wishes to get out of harm's (Eisov's) way.

Ch. 28, v. 10: "Va'yeitzei Yaakov" - And Yaakov left - These words come on the heels of "al noshov lo l'ishoh," the last words of the previous parsha. This alludes to the ruling that one who lives in Eretz Yisroel may not move to chutz lo'oretz except to learn Torah or to find a wife. (Rabbeinu Avigdor) Alternatively, Eisov had just married Mochalas. This enabled Yaakov to slip away without Eisov noticing. (Tzror Hamor)

Medrash Ohr Ho'a'feiloh says that N'voyos, Eisov's brother-in-law, died and Yaakov took the opportunity to escape.

The medrash says that our parsha is "s'sumoh," - closed, to teach us that Yaakov left B'eir Sheva clandestinely, so that Eisov would not notice his departure. Some incorrectly understand that it is a parshas "s'sumoh," meaning that the paragraph spacing between the end of the previous parsha and ours has a "s'sumoh" configuration. This is incorrect. Numerous parshios have this type of paragraph spacing and no comment is made by our Rabbis. The medrash means that the whole parsha is closed, having not even one paragraph space in it. (Rada"k)

Ch. 28, v. 11: "Va'yifga bamokome" - And he happened upon the place - The gemara Chulin 91b says that "the place" refers to Mount Morioh. Yaakov passed it and later decided that he should retrace his steps and pray there. He merited to have "kfitzas ha'derech," miraculous quick travel, and reached it on the same day. Targum Yonoson ben Uziel on verse 10 writes that he also had "kfitzas ha'derech" from B'eir Sheva to Choron.

Ch. 28, v. 11: "Va'yikach mei'avnei hamokome" - And he took from the stones of the place - How many stones did Yaakov take? Rada"k says that he only took one. Read these words as: "And he took (a stone) from among the stones of the place." Targum Yonoson ben Uziel on verse 10 says that he took four stones.

Ch. 28, v. 17: "Beis Elokim" - House of G-d - Targum Onkelos writes "asar d'raavo vei min kodom Hashem." We likewise find the words "Beis Elokim" in Shoftim 18:31. There Targum Onkelos writes "Beis mak'd'sho d'Hashem." This is readily explained. At the time of our verse the Beis Hamikdosh was not yet existent, thus "the place of the will of Hashem" (for the Beis Hamikdos to be built in the future). In Shoftim an edifice for Hashem was already built, hence "beis mak'd'sho d'Hashem." (Shaa'rei Aharon)

Ch. 28, v. 18: "Va'yitzoke shemen al roshoh" - And he poured oil upon its top - Since Elifaz relieved Yaakov of all his possessions how did he have oil? We know that he was left with his walking stick, as he said that he crossed the Jordan River with it. He originally hollowed it out and filled it with oil so that he always had fuel available to kindle a light so that he could study (written?) Torah at night. (Paa'nei'ach Rozo)

Alternatively, Pirkei d'Rebbi Eliezer writes that oil was sent to him from heaven.

Ch. 29, v. 20: "Va'y'h'yu v'einov k'yomim achodim b'ahavoso ossoh" - Shouldn't Yaakov's yearning for Rochel make days seem like years rather than years like days? In 27:44 Rivkoh told Yaakov to stay with Lovon "yomim achodim." His love for his mother and fulfilling her wishes, being the mitzvoh of honouring one's mother, made the long wait seem like a few days, as each moment gave him great satisfaction. "B'ahavoso ossoh" refers back to Rivkoh. (Nirreh li)

Ch. 29, v. 26: "Lo yei'o'seh chein bimkomeinu lo'seis es ha'tz'iroh lifnei habchiroh" - It is not done like this in our locality to give the younger ahead of the older - Perhaps Yaakov had a precedent for taking a younger daughter in marriage ahead of an older one. Avrohom took Soroh as his wife even though Milkoh, Soroh's older sister was still single. In Breishis 11:29 the verse says that Horon was the father of Milkoh and Yiskoh. Yiskoh is Soroh (Rashi). Since Milkoh is mentioned first, she is surely the older sister. The verse says that Avrohom and Nochor took these two sisters as wives. Since it mentions Avrohom's taking a wife ahead of Nochor's, we see that Avrohom married earlier. (Nirreh li)

Ch. 29, v. 27: "V'nitnoh l'cho gam es zose" - And WE will give you also this one - Why did Lovon express himself in the plural form, since he was the only one giving his daughter in marriage?

1) This is a follow-through of his statement in the previous verse that in his locality it is not acceptable to give a younger daughter for marriage ahead of an older one. Here too, he included the townspeople to show that all that he does is with the guidelines and consent of the public. (Ramban)

2) We find that Lovon invited all his townspeople to the first wedding (verse 22). He included his townspeople in the giving over of the bride as an expression of honour to Yaakov. (Mahara"l of Prague)

3) Yaakov was already tricked once by the wily Lovon. He feared that Lovon would somehow trick him again when offering Rochel. He insisted that the public be in on the negotiations. Lovon responded that he was agreeable to this, and thus said that "we," the public, will give Rochel in marriage to Yaakov, in accordance with Yaakov's understanding of the offer, "bli kuntzen." (B'eir Baso'deh)

Ch. 30, v. 15: "Lochein yishkav imoch halayloh" - Therefore he will lie with you this night - Rashi (M.R. 82:11) says that because Rochel belittled the opportunity to lie with Yaakov she was not buried with him in the M'oras Hamachpeiloh. Rashi on Breishis 48:7 d.h. "vo'ek'b'rehoh" writes that Rochel was buried in Beis Lechem on the path to Efros so that she would be stirred to entreat Hashem for her descendants who passed by her burial place on their way to exile. Ramban on the same verse writes that it would be embarrassing for Yaakov to be buried with two sisters, since the Torah would prohibit marrying both (see gemara P'sochim 119b where Yaakov declined to lead the grace after meals because he married two sisters). Since Leah was the first to be married to Yaakov, she was the one to be buried with him. We thus have three reasons for Rochel's not being buried with Yaakov.

Ch. 30, v. 20: "Hapaam yiz'b'leini ishi" - At this time my husband will make his primary residence with me - Rashi explains that Leah said, "Since I have given birth to as many sons as all the other wives combined, Yaakov will NOT make his main residence with anyone BESIDES me." The Mizrochi asks why Rashi uses a double negative, "lo" and "ella." He offers no answer. Nachalas Yaakov and Maskil l'Dovid both answer that had Rashi expressed this in a positive manner, "His main residence will be with me," we might mistakenly think that he had no primary residence, but would now begin favouring being with Leah. By expressing this with a double negative we clearly understand that Yaakov previously had a favoured residence (with Rochel) and now would only have it with Leah.

Ch. 30, v. 22: "Va'yizkor Elokim es Rochel va'yishma ei'lehoh" - And Hashem remembered Rochel and He hearkened to her - It seems as if Hashem would have forgotten about Rochel's plight had she not prayed. However, this is not so. We find that Hashem's remembering her is mentioned ahead of His hearkening to her, "va'yizkor" and then "va'yishma." (Ohr Hachaim Hakodosh) If Hashem remembered, why did He wait to spring into action only after she prayed? This is in keeping with the dictum of the gemara Y'vomos 64a that Hashem greatly desires the prayers of the righteous, and He therefore made our Patriarchs and Matriarchs barren. They would then pray for children.

N.B. - Although it was mentioned last week that the words of Pirkei d'Rebbi Eliezer are not contradictory to the Chasam Sofer who says that Yaakov experienced kfitzas ha'derech when in Eretz Yisroel but not outside Eretz Yisroel, even when on his way back, we find the Targum Yonoson ben Uziel on the first verse of our parsha saying that Yaakov had kfitzas ha'derech when he left Eretz Yisroel all the way to Choron. Any help would be appreciated.



See also Oroh V'Simchoh - Meshech Chochmoh on the Weekly Parsha and Chasidic Insights

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