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Parshat Vayetzei Dvar Torah

This week’s Parsha, Parshat Vayetzei, goes very deeply into the life of Yaakov and the hardships that he had to face in marriage. Ultimately, Yaakov ended up marrying Rachel after marrying Leah first.

When the Torah discusses Yaakov’s marriage to Rachel, it describes the marriage as following:

"ויבא גם אל רחל ויאהב גם את רחל מלאה"

“And he also married Rachel, and he loved also Rachel more than Leah.” (29:30)

It seems that the words “more than Leah” are superfluous. It already mentions right before that he got married to her, which implies that he chose Rachel over Leah.

Therefore, wouldn’t it have been sufficient enough to simply say “and he loved Rachel”?

Why did the pasuk have to include these extra words?

From the beginning, Yaakov had intentions to marry Rachel, his first choice. He even worked for seven years just to be able to have her as a wife. However, Lavan, being the sly man he is, tricked Yaakov and gave him Leah instead. Yaakov had suspected that Lavan might trick him, so he arranged secret signs with Rachel beforehand.

But when Rachel saw that her father was going to substitute Leah instead of her, she realized that Leah wouldn’t know the signs which would embarrass her. Because of this, Rachel taught Leah the signs to ensure she didn’t get embarrassed.

When Yaakov became aware of this occurrence, he looked at Rachel in an entirely new way. His love for her began to intensify, as he comprehended just how much she sacrificed to save her sister from embarrassment. This convinced Yaakov even more how good-natured Rachel was.

The Torah confirms this by saying: “Vaye’ehav gam et Rachel” — “And he loved (also) Rachel more”“MiLeah”through Leah” was to emphasize that the reason for this love was because of what Rachel did and sacrificed just for Leah.

Rachel's selfless act of ensuring Leah's dignity and preventing her from embarrassment demonstrated her character. This act of kindness and consideration for others, even at personal cost, serves as a powerful example for us. Yaakov's perception of Rachel changed when he witnessed her selfless act, increasing his love for her tremendously.

We should always appreciate and value those who go out of their way to help others because sacrificing one’s own desires for the benefit of others will always come back to a person, rewarding him or her for the incredible acts.

By: Tova Bossewitch (10th)

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