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by Zvi Akiva Fleisher

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Ch. 28, v. 22: "V'chol asher ti'tein li a'seir aasrenu loch" - And all that You will give me I will tithe a tenth for You - usually when a person possesses more material wealth it brings in its wake a corresponding growth in haughtiness and an attitude of being greater than his fellow man. Yaakov stated that "KoL" and "LoCH" will be multiplied by ten. "KoL" thus becomes Reish-Shin and "LoCH" becomes Sin-Reish. As I become more of a "SaR," a minister, through increased wealth, then I will correspondingly become "RoSH," behave as a poor man, and not become haughty. (Chasam Sofer)

Ch. 28, v. 22: "V'chol asher ti'tein li a'seir aasrenu loch" - And all that You will give me I will tithe a tenth for You - The Holy Alshich interprets the verse in parshas R'ei, "A'seir t'a'seir es kol tvuas zaracho ha'yotzei shonoh shonoh" to mean that there is a blessing for a person who tithes the tenth properly, that the following year his tithing of a tenth will be equal to the total produce of the previous year, i.e. it will multiply tenfold.

Based on this the Yismach Moshe explains these words of our verse to mean, "And all that You will give me (this year) I will give as a tenth of the tithing of 'maa'seir' (of the coming year).

Ch. 29, v. 11: "Va'yiso kolo va'yeivk" - And he raised his voice and he cried - Rashi explains that although Eliezer came with jewellery and other items to bring to Yitzchok's "kaloh" and for her family, Yaakov came empty-handed as it was all taken away from him by Elifaz.

A shiduch was completed and the two mechutonim came to the Chazon Ish for his blessing and to also ask him how to split the upcoming expenses. The Chazon Ish blessed the shiduch and then turned to one mechuton and said that he should shoulder the expenses of supplying the young couple a home and the second mechuton should supply all the furniture, household items, and the wedding expenses. The first fellow responded that it was beyond him to carry such a large expense. The Chazon Ish told him that it was not his burden, but that he was but a conduit for Hashem's blessing. He then turned to the second mechuton and said that the tables should be turned and he would supply the home. The second mechuton took to heart the words of the Chazon Ish that it alls comes from Hashem and agreed to shoulder the housing expenses, but added that since he was willing to accept the other expenses, as the Chazon Ish had first suggested, that he would not give that up either and was ready to pay for all the expenses. The other mechuton said that he was ready to pay the lesser expenses, but the Chazon Ish told him that it was too late, and his new mechuton would pay for everything. From that point on the mechuton who shouldered all the expenses had his income expand exponentially, while the other person remained the same poor man and the marriage took place with him ashamedly not giving anything substantial. (Chazon Ish Hagodoh Shel Pesach)

Ch. 29, v. 18: "E'evodcho sheva shonim b'Rochel bitcho haktanoh" - I will work for you for seven years for Rochel your daughter the small one - I will repeat an insight on parshas Chayei Soroh offered last year, as it is very relevant for many young people.

< Rather, his intention should be solely for the sake of heaven. He should attempt to marry into a family that has elevated character traits, because children are drawn to the behaviour of their mother's family (see gemara B.B. 118a), just as the nature of wine is to absorb the flavour of the vessel in which it sits. (If you are pursuing a shiduch and get advice that is contrary to these words of Rabbeinu Bachyei, please bring it to the attention of your mentor.)>>

Ch. 30, v. 21: "V'achar yoldoh bas" - And afterwards she gave birth to a daughter - Not only does the word "v'achar" seem superfluous, but it is also not clear as to what it refers. After what? Bilhoh and Zilpoh were maidservants (see Rashi 37:2) and Yaakov emancipated them (see Targum Yonoson ben Uziel on verse 4 and Ohr Hachaim Hakodosh on 37:2). The gemara Gitin 38b says that one who emancipates his slave transgresses the command of "L'olom bo'hem taavodu." However, the gemara Gitin 41 says that this prohibition is overridden by the compelling mitzvoh of "pru urvu," to reproduce, as is explained there by the circumstance of someone who has become half-slave and half-emancipated. Sh.O. O.Ch. 1:5 says that one does not fulfill the mitzvoh of "pru urvu" until he has both a son and a daughter. Since until now Yaakov had no daughters, albeit he had numerous sons, he had not yet fulfilled the mitzvoh of "pru urvu." By emancipating these maidservants he increased his possibility of reproducing, especially in light of Rochel's not having become pregnant and Leah's stopping to become pregnant (29:35). Our verse is telling us that Leah AFTERWARDS gave birth to a daughter, after he emancipated Bilho and Zilpoh. Had she given birth to a daughter before they were emancipated he would have been prohibited from freeing them from slavery. (Eil Hamilu'im)

Ch. 31, v. 18: "Va'yinhag es kol mikneihu v'es kol r'chusho" - And he led all his cattle and all his possessions - The previous verse says that Yaakov took his children and his wives. Why doesn't our verse simply follow through with, "V'es kol mikneihu ?" When it comes to a person's possessions, especially when they are vast, he sometimes falls victim to their becoming the leaders, demanding of him to do things that he prefers not to do, and are actually to his detriment, i.e. spending exceedingly late hours at work, being dishonest in business, etc. our verse therefore stresses that HE led his belongings and not the other way around. (Divrei Yisroel of Modzitz)

Ch. 31, v. 32: "Im asher timtza es elohecho lo yichyeh" - With the person by whom you will find your gods he shall not live - Rashi comments that because of these words which issued forth from Yaakov's mouth Rochel died enroute. The Shaloh Hakodosh and the Chofetz Chaim both comment that we find that when Yaakov was apprised that the viceroy of Mitzrayim incarcerated Shimon and then asked for Binyomin to be brought to him, he could have easily been incited to utter a curse upon the seemingly erratic and unreasonable ruler. Nevertheless, he did not do so. Imagine if he would have done so what calamities would have unwittingly befallen his most beloved son Yoseif.

Perhaps he learned this painful lesson here and was careful to not do this again even under the most trying of circumstances.



See also Oroh V'Simchoh - Meshech Chochmoh on the Weekly Parsha, Chasidic Insights and Chamisha Mi Yodei'a

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