What right did Yakov have to use does devious methods for his personal gain?


Rashi #1 (citing Targum Onkelos) and Targum Yonasan: They are the early ones.


Rashi #2 (citing Menachem): It means the sheep that are tightly-knot - in order to hasten their pregnancies.


Ramban #1: Having agreed upon the division of sheep, Yakov was free to employ whichever method he saw fit 1 to obtain his portion. 2


Ramban #2: It is even possible that Lavan - who knew nothing about the novel method that Yakov would ultimately employ - gave him the green light to use whichever method he saw fit.


Moshav Zekenim #2, Da'as Zekenim, Hadar Zekenim (38), Riva (32): Lavan cheated first. He was supposed to remove only young animals; he removed also adults. 3 The sticks were to compensate for this. "With the crooked 4 , you may be crooked" (Shmuel 2:22:27). 5


Bechor Shor (33): It would be proper to leave the spotted animals in the flock, and the females could see them and give birth to such babies. Due to Lavan's adamancy, lest he claim "these spotted animals were born beforehand", they had to be removed. The sticks were to compensate for this. Yakov stipulated to do so, and he did so openly.


Tosfos ha'Shalem (35:3), Redak (40): Yakov used the sticks only on his own flock (what was born spotted, after they matured), lest they give birth to animals without the Simanim, and they will belong to Lavan. 6


Moshav Zekenim #1, Tosfos ha'Shalem (3): An angel told him to do so 7 , like it says below (31:10-12).


Moshav Zekenim #3: Yakov intended to benefit Lavan 8 ! He prevented his own animals from mating with Lavan's lest the babies look like the fathers. And he covered Lavan's sheep to keep their wool clean. 9


Tosfos ha'Shalem (Perek 40 Pasuk 4): He intended only to help the animals give birth. Refer to 30:42:1:5*.


Oznayim la'Torah: To make up for the spotted and speckled sheep and gaots that Lavan had removed from the flock. Refer to 30:35:3:1.


Refer also to 30:36:1:1*. See however, the Ba'al ha'Turim on Pasuk 42..


Refer to 30:36:1:1*.


Riva: He removed also Akudim, the healthy animals (and everything with white - Tosfos ha'Shalem 2; and the females - Tosfos ha'Shalem (4, citing Chatzi Menasheh, citing Riva of Orleans), and he changed the wages 100 times.


Tosfos ha'Shalem (1): Yakov took Livneh, Luz and Armon, to hint that he does so because Lavan is acting Naluz (crooked) and with Armimus (guile).


Tosfos ha'Shalem (33:5): This Heter is only for the same matter in which the other party cheated.


Riva: We say so to answer heretics; but it is not correct!


Tosfos ha'Shalem: Surely, had the angel not told him to do so, this would have no effect!


Ha'Kalir put "Meyachem b'Maklos b'Shikasos ha'Mayim" in the Piyut "l'Ma'an Tamim..." (the fourth that we say after finishing the Hakafos) on Hoshana Raba. Surely we do not request in the merit of trickery!


Tosfos ha'Shalem (2): Also, he caused Lavan to get animals born in summer, and Yakov got those born in winter.


Why does it say that only the Livneh was moist?


Bechor Shor: Livneh (poplar) is white only when it is moist. The others are white (under the bark) even when they are dry.


What are 'Livneh' and 'Luz'?


Rashi: "Livneh" is a poplar tree and "Luz", a tree that produces small (hazel) nuts.


Riva, Moshav Zekenim: It cannot be a tree that makes small nuts, for Bechoros 8a says that it bears fruits in 21 days! Rather, it must therefore be an almond 1 tree.


Riva supports this from a Midrash (and Yerushalmi Ta'anis 4:5), which says that almonds develop in 21 days.


ויקח לו יעקב מקל לבנה וגו': האם המקלות נעשו גם לצורך הכבשים?


גור אריה (פסוק לב): אם התנאי היה רק על הכבשים החומים- נמצא שהמקלות נעשו רק לצורך העיזים, אבל אם התנאי היה גם על הכבשים הנקודים והטלואים, נמצא שהמקלות נעשו גם לצורך הכבשים. 1


הגו"א מסתפק בדעת רש"י האם יעקב קיבל מהכבשים רק את החומים או שגם את הנקודים והטלואים.


לכאורה מעשה המקלות הוא רמאות וכיצד עשה יעקב כך?


גור אריה (פסוק לז): לבן עשה שלא כדין בכך שלקח מהעדר את כל הטובים אשר לבן בהם (-אותם שלא היו נקודים וטלואים אלא היה בהם רק שתים או שלוש שערות לבנות), והמקלות היו אמורות להועיל פחות מלקיחת "כל אשר לבן בו" (אלא שהיה זה מעשה ה' להשלים לו את החסר).


רש"י: מקל לבנה - עץ הוא ושמו לבנה: אולי "לִבנה" איננו שם העץ אלא הצבע הלבן?


גור אריה: הפסוק ממשיך "ויפצל...פצלות לבנות", משמע שהעץ עצמו איננו לבן אלא הוא נקרא כך כי הוא נעשה לבן אחר הפיצול.


רש"י: לוז - ועוד לקח מקל לוז: למה הוסיף רש"י "ועוד לקח מקל לח לוז"?


גור אריה: לא כתוב 'מקל לוז' אלא "מקל...ולוז" ולכן פירש רש"י שזה מחובר ללמעלה, וכאילו כתוב 'ועוד לקח מקל לח לוז'. 1


נראה שהגו"א גרס ברש"י 'מקל לח לוז', לא כגירסא שלפנינו.

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