Dvar Torah- Parashat Vayetze
In this week’s Parsha, Parashat Vayetze, Jacob leaves his hometown of Beersheba and journeys to Charan. On the way, he encounters “the place” and sleeps there, dreaming of a ladder connecting heaven and earth. From the ladder, there were angels climbing and descending on it; G-d appears and promises that the land upon which he lies will be given to his descendants. In the morning, Jacob raises the stone on which he laid as an altar and monument pledging that it will be made the house of G-d. In Haran, Jacob stays with and works for his uncle Laban, tending Laban’s sheep. Laban agrees to give him his younger daughter Rachel- whom Jacob loves- in marriage, in return for seven years’ labor. On the wedding night, Laban gives him his elder daughter, Leah, instead. Jacob does not discover this until after the wedding. Although Jacob does get to marry Rachel, a week later, after agreeing to work another seven years for Laban. Leah gives birth to six sons, while Rachel remains barren. She finally gets her prayers answered and she gives birth to Joseph. Now, Jacob wants to return home but Laban persuades him to remain, offering him sheep in return for his labor. Jacob continues to prosper despite Laban’s efforts to restrain him.