hebrew
1)

Why did Yakov offer to work seven years for Rachel?

1.

Rashi: Those seven years were 'the few days' that Rivkah referred to when she suggested that he go to live with Lavan her brother (Bereishis 27:64). 1

2.

Seforno: The seven -year wait was to give him time to build up a Parnasah 2 - since the Gemara in Yevamos (65b) prohibits a man from marrying a woman if he cannot provide for her needs. Whereas the work were a 'dowry' which the prospective Chasan would give the girl's father for the privilege of marrying his daughter, as was customary in those days. 3

3.

Moshav Zekenim: Even though the custom is for the girl's father to give a dowry, Yakov said "if you will not give for free, I will work for her, and not transgress my father's command to take a wife."

4.

Tosfos ha'Shalem (1, citing R. Efrayim): An Eved Ivri serves for six years Yakov wanted to work more than this. (Ohr ha'Chayim


1

Rivkah said "a few days, until your brother's anger subsides, and I will send and take you from there", and she later sent Devorah to get him (see Rashi on Bereishis 35:8). This implies that he did not know how long it will be! Perhaps Yakov understood that it will be at least seven more years, i.e. 21 from when he left. (PF)

2

Where do we find that Yakov acquired wealth in the seven years? Was not all his labor 'payment' for Rachel? Rashi (30:30) says that [also] during the second seven years, only his sons' labor was "l'Beisi" (but Lavan received all Yakov's earnings)! (PF)

3

Tosfos ha'Shalem (3): And in seven years she will be an adult, and you will give to her a dowry, like the custom. See Shemos 22:16.

4

So Ibn Ezra (Bereishis 27:44) explains.

5

Either way, the time finished in Yakov's 14 years in the Yeshivah of Ever! It seems that his time in Yeshivah is not reckoned with, just like he was not punished for that time. Or, he thought that Rivkah limited how long he can stay with Lavan, lest he be influenced by him. (PF)

2)

Why did Yakov see fit to add 'your younger daughter?' How many daughters called Rachel did Lavan have?

1.

Rashi: Anticipating Lavan's attempt to cheat him, he made it abundantly clear that he was working for Rachel his daughter, and not for some stranger from the street of that name, and for his younger daughter, and not for his older daughter whose name he would change to Rachel. 1

2.

Seforno: Refer to 29:18:1:2. Moreover, by that time, Rachel would be ready to get married, and Lavan will have been able to marry off Leah.


1

Why wasn't Yakov concerned lest Lavan change Zilpah's name to Rachel? She was younger than Rachel (Rashi Bereishis 30:10)! She was a Shifchah, and not a proper daughter. Yakov was not concerned for a double ruse (Tosfos ha'Shalem 4). Perhaps Lavan will father another daughter, call her Rachel, and she will be his youngest daughter! If it is clear that Yakov refers to a girl in the world at the time, it is clear that he refers to the girl Rachel at the time! If Lavan switches the names, people might forget [when he did so, and] what that names were seven years ago. If new daughters are born, they can remember or see that they are less than seven years old! (PF)

3)

How did Ya'kov agree to get married without a penny to his name and how could he manage to provide for his growing family during the fourteen years that he was about to work for Lavan?

1.

Seforno: Since the Gemara in Yevamos (65b) prohibits a man from marrying a woman if he cannot provide for her needs, Ya'kov must have arrived with a considerable sum of money, 1 since his work was specifically in the form of a dowry 2 for his two wives. Whereas the work was a 'dowry'.

2.

Oznayim la'Torah (on 31:39): Because, despite the fact Ya'kov was working for Rachel, it seems that Lavan paid him a wage as well 3 - to the point that he was even able to pay him for the T'reifos that occurred in the flock. 4


1

Seforno In any event, Lavan, who was a wealthy man, would never have given his daughter to someone who was not able to provide for her.an,:

2

That the prospective Chasan would give the girl's father for the privilege of marrying his daughter, as was customary in those days

3

Oznayim la'Torah: Which we are anyway forced to say, because otherwise how did he plan to return home after the fourteen years that he worked for Rachel - with a large family and no money with which to support them?

4

See 31:19.

4)

How did Yakov agree to get married without a penny to his name and how couldl he manage to provide for his growing family during the fourteen years that he was about to work for Lavan?

1.

Seforno: Since the Gemara in Yevamos (65b) prohibits a man from marrying a woman if he cannot provide for her needs, Yakov must have arrived with a considerable sum of money, 1 since his work was specifically in the form of a dowry 2 for his two wives. Whereas the work was a 'dowry'. 3

2.

Oznayim la'Torah (on 31:39): Because, despite the fact Yakov was working for Rachel, it seems that Lavan paid him a wage as well 4 - to the point that he was even able to pay him for the T'reifos that occurred in the flock. 5


1

Seforno In any event, Lavan, who was a wealthy man, would never have given his daughter to someone who was not able to provide for her.an,:

2

That the prospective Chasan would give the girl's father for the privilege of marrying his daughter, as was customary in those days

3

Tosfos ha'Shalem (3): And in seven years she will be an adult, and you will give to her a dowry, like the custom. See Shemos 22:16.

4

Oznayim la'Torah: Which we are anyway forced to say, because otherwise how did he plan to return home after the fourteen years that he worked for Rachel - with a large family and no money with which to support them?

5

See 31:19.

5)

How did Yakov agree to get married without a penny to his name and how couldl he manage to provide for his growing family during the fourteen years that he was about to work for Lavan?

1.

Seforno: Since the Gemara in Yevamos (65b) prohibits a man from marrying a woman if he cannot provide for her needs, Yakov must have arrived with a considerable sum of money, 1 since his work was specifically in the form of a dowry 2 for his two wives. Whereas the work was a 'dowry'. 3

2.

Oznayim la'Torah (on 31:39): Because, despite the fact Yakov was working for Rachel, it seems that Lavan paid him a wage as well 4 - to the point that he was even able to pay him for the T'reifos that occurred in the flock. 5


1

Seforno In any event, Lavan, who was a wealthy man, would never have given his daughter to someone who was not able to provide for her.an,:

2

That the prospective Chasan would give the girl's father for the privilege of marrying his daughter, as was customary in those days

3

Tosfos ha'Shalem (3): And in seven years she will be an adult, and you will give to her a dowry, like the custom. See Shemos 22:16.

4

Oznayim la'Torah: Which we are anyway forced to say, because otherwise how did he plan to return home after the fourteen years that he worked for Rachel - with a large family and no money with which to support them?

5

See 31:19.

6)

Why did Yakov love Rachel?

1.

Ohr ha'Chayim #1: It was not due to her beauty, rather, because she was his Zivug. 1

2.

Ohr ha'Chayim #2: He loved her because it is proper for a Chacham to have a pretty wife (Shabbos 25b), against the Yetzer ha'Ra (lest he be distracted due to thoughts of other women). Even though Yakov was different, for he was void of the Yetzer ha'Ra, the Torah teaches Da'as. 2


1

He inferred this from his Ru'ach ha'Kodesh that she will not be buried with him, or from his mother's words (refer to 29:2:152:1. - PF)

2

I.e. he should conduct like a Chacham, for others will learn from him. Surely he was void of the Yetzer ha'Ra, for he never had an emission before he married (refer to 49:3:2:1)! Our text of Shabbos 25b says "Ishah Mekushetes" (adorned). It seems that Ohr ha'Chayim had the Rambam's text (Shemoneh Perakim, 5 DH v'Cha'asher) 'Ishah Na'eh.' Brachos 57b says that a pretty wife is Marchiv Da'as; the Rambam implies that this helps to attain Chachmah. (PF)

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