Genesis – Select a Chapter

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28:10  Yaakov left Be’er Sheva, and set out for Haran.

כח:י  וַיֵּצֵא יַעֲקֹב מִבְּאֵר שָׁבַע וַיֵּלֶךְ חָרָנָה׃

11  He came upon a certain place and stopped there for the night, for the sun had set. Taking one of the stones of that place, he put it under his head and lay down in that place.

va-yif-GA ba-ma-KOHM va-ya-LAYN shahm ki va ha-SHE-mesh va-yi-KAKH me-ahv-NAY ha-ma-KOME va-ya-SAYM m’-ra-sho-TAV va-yish-KAHV ba-ma-KOHM ha-HU

יא  וַיִּפְגַּע בַּמָּקוֹם וַיָּלֶן שָׁם כִּי־בָא הַשֶּׁמֶשׁ וַיִּקַּח מֵאַבְנֵי הַמָּקוֹם וַיָּשֶׂם מְרַאֲשֹׁתָיו וַיִּשְׁכַּב בַּמָּקוֹם הַהוּא׃

 28:11 He came upon a certain place

Where is the place that Yaakov slept? American congregational Rabbi David Stavsky explained in one of his High Holy Day sermons that the Hebrew word used in this verse is ba-makom (בַּמקום), ‘upon the place,’ and not bi-makom (בְּמקום), ‘upon a place.’ The use of the definite article means this refers to the most important spot in the entire world. As Rabbi Stavsky said, Yaakov came upon “the place where Jacob’s father Isaac, and his grandfather Abraham, had built an altar. The place where Isaac was bound to the altar. The place which, for centuries, has tied us to Hashem. Hamakom, ‘the place,’ was Mount Moriah, eventually to become the heart and soul of Jerusalem, and it was as if a magnet had drawn young Jacob to wander the hot Mesopotamian desert that night, to that particular place. And dear friends, I dare say that whatever force pulled Jacob to that place that night, pulls you and me to that place. It is a deep mystical pull. It is holiness.”Comment

12  He had a dream; a stairway was set on the ground and its top reached to the sky, and angels of Hashem were going up and down on it.

יב  וַיַּחֲלֹם וְהִנֵּה סֻלָּם מֻצָּב אַרְצָה וְרֹאשׁוֹ מַגִּיעַ הַשָּׁמָיְמָה וְהִנֵּה מַלְאֲכֵי אֱלֹהִים עֹלִים וְיֹרְדִים בּוֹ׃

13  And Hashem was standing beside him and He said, “I am Hashem, the God of your father Avraham and the God of Yitzchak: the ground on which you are lying I will assign to you and to your offspring.

יג  וְהִנֵּה יְהֹוָה נִצָּב עָלָיו וַיֹּאמַר אֲנִי יְהֹוָה אֱלֹהֵי אַבְרָהָם אָבִיךָ וֵאלֹהֵי יִצְחָק הָאָרֶץ אֲשֶׁר אַתָּה שֹׁכֵב עָלֶיהָ לְךָ אֶתְּנֶנָּה וּלְזַרְעֶךָ׃

14  Your descendants shall be as the dust of the earth; you shall spread out to the west and to the east, to the north and to the south. All the families of the earth shall bless themselves by you and your descendants.

יד  וְהָיָה זַרְעֲךָ כַּעֲפַר הָאָרֶץ וּפָרַצְתָּ יָמָּה וָקֵדְמָה וְצָפֹנָה וָנֶגְבָּה וְנִבְרֲכוּ בְךָ כָּל־מִשְׁפְּחֹת הָאֲדָמָה וּבְזַרְעֶךָ׃

15  Remember, I am with you: I will protect you wherever you go and will bring you back to this land. I will not leave you until I have done what I have promised you.”

טו  וְהִנֵּה אָנֹכִי עִמָּךְ וּשְׁמַרְתִּיךָ בְּכֹל אֲשֶׁר־תֵּלֵךְ וַהֲשִׁבֹתִיךָ אֶל־הָאֲדָמָה הַזֹּאת כִּי לֹא אֶעֱזָבְךָ עַד אֲשֶׁר אִם־עָשִׂיתִי אֵת אֲשֶׁר־דִּבַּרְתִּי לָךְ׃

16  Yaakov awoke from his sleep and said, “Surely Hashem is present in this place, and I did not know it!”

טז  וַיִּיקַץ יַעֲקֹב מִשְּׁנָתוֹ וַיֹּאמֶר אָכֵן יֵשׁ יְהֹוָה בַּמָּקוֹם הַזֶּה וְאָנֹכִי לֹא יָדָעְתִּי׃

17  Shaken, he said, “How awesome is this place! This is none other than the abode of Hashem, and that is the gateway to heaven.”

va-yee-RA va-yo-MAR mah no-RA ha-ma-KOM ha-ZEH AYN ZEH KEE im BAYT e-lo-HEEM v’-ZEH SHA-ar ha-sha-MA-yim

יז  וַיִּירָא וַיֹּאמַר מַה־נּוֹרָא הַמָּקוֹם הַזֶּה אֵין זֶה כִּי אִם־בֵּית אֱלֹהִים וְזֶה שַׁעַר הַשָּׁמָיִם׃

 28:17   This is none other than the abode of Hashem

According to Rashi, these words refer to the Temple Mount in Yerushalayim. He explains that the foot of the ladder in Yaakov’s dream was in Be’er Sheva, and its head was in Beit El. Therefore the middle of the ladder hung over Mount Moriah and the intensity of the encounter with Hashem occurred in that spot. When Yaakov awakens, he realizes that he has seen no ordinary place, but “the abode of Hashem,” the most intimate spot for prayers to ascend heavenward and the site where the Beit Hamikdash would later stand. The Beit Hamikdash is referred to here as ‘abode’ or ‘house’ because in the Temple, Hashem’s revealed presence – the shechina (שכינה) – dwells with His people, just as a husband dwells intimately with his wife in their home.5 comments

18  Early in the morning, Yaakov took the stone that he had put under his head and set it up as a pillar and poured oil on the top of it.

יח  וַיַּשְׁכֵּם יַעֲקֹב בַּבֹּקֶר וַיִּקַּח אֶת־הָאֶבֶן אֲשֶׁר־שָׂם מְרַאֲשֹׁתָיו וַיָּשֶׂם אֹתָהּ מַצֵּבָה וַיִּצֹק שֶׁמֶן עַל־רֹאשָׁהּ׃

19  He named that site Beit El; but previously the name of the city had been Luz.

va-yik-RA et shaym ha-ma-KOM ha-HU bayt EL v’-u-LAM LUZ shaym ha-EER la-ri-sho-NAH

יט  וַיִּקְרָא אֶת־שֵׁם־הַמָּקוֹם הַהוּא בֵּית־אֵל וְאוּלָם לוּז שֵׁם־הָעִיר לָרִאשֹׁנָה׃

 28:19   He named that site Beit El

When Yaakov arrives in Beit El, the city near which his grandfather Avraham called to Hashem for the first time in the Land of Israel (Genesis 12:8), he recognizes its unique spiritual character. From that moment on, Beit El appears throughout the Bible as a special location for prayer. The Hebrew name Beit El means “The House of the Lord,” and signifies its powerful purpose. Rabbi Zalman Sorotzkin explains that a home protects a person from the elements, extreme temperatures and rain. Similarly, we are meant to view “The House of the Lord” as a safe haven, protecting us from danger and therefore an ideal location for coming close to God.

4 comments

20  Yaakov then made a vow, saying, “If Hashem remains with me, if He protects me on this journey that I am making, and gives me bread to eat and clothing to wear,

כ  וַיִּדַּר יַעֲקֹב נֶדֶר לֵאמֹר אִם־יִהְיֶה אֱלֹהִים עִמָּדִי וּשְׁמָרַנִי בַּדֶּרֶךְ הַזֶּה אֲשֶׁר אָנֹכִי הוֹלֵךְ וְנָתַן־לִי לֶחֶם לֶאֱכֹל וּבֶגֶד לִלְבֹּשׁ׃

21  and if I return safe to my father’s house—Hashem shall be my God.

כא  וְשַׁבְתִּי בְשָׁלוֹם אֶל־בֵּית אָבִי וְהָיָה יְהֹוָה לִי לֵאלֹהִים׃

22  And this stone, which I have set up as a pillar, shall be Hashem‘s abode; and of all that You give me, I will set aside a tithe for You.”

כב  וְהָאֶבֶן הַזֹּאת אֲשֶׁר־שַׂמְתִּי מַצֵּבָה יִהְיֶה בֵּית אֱלֹהִים וְכֹל אֲשֶׁר תִּתֶּן־לִי עַשֵּׂר אֲעַשְּׂרֶנּוּ לָךְ׃

29:1  Yaakov resumed his journey and came to the land of the Easterners.

va-yi-SA ya-a-KOV rag-LAV va-YAY-lekh AR-tzah v’-nay KE-dem

כט:א  וַיִּשָּׂא יַעֲקֹב רַגְלָיו וַיֵּלֶךְ אַרְצָה בְנֵי־קֶדֶם׃

29:1   To the land of the Easterners

The distinction between Eretz Yisrael and other lands becomes clear to Yaakov as he enters the “land of the Easterners,” where he immediately encounters jealous shepherds and later the crooked Lavan. This new land stands in stark contrast to the Land of Israel where Yaakov’s grandfather Avraham had sought to bring righteousness and Godliness to the world.2 comments

2  There before his eyes was a well in the open. Three flocks of sheep were lying there beside it, for the flocks were watered from that well. The stone on the mouth of the well was large.

ב  וַיַּרְא וְהִנֵּה בְאֵר בַּשָּׂדֶה וְהִנֵּה־שָׁם שְׁלֹשָׁה עֶדְרֵי־צֹאן רֹבְצִים עָלֶיהָ כִּי מִן־הַבְּאֵר הַהִוא יַשְׁקוּ הָעֲדָרִים וְהָאֶבֶן גְּדֹלָה עַל־פִּי הַבְּאֵר׃

3  When all the flocks were gathered there, the stone would be rolled from the mouth of the well and the sheep watered; then the stone would be put back in its place on the mouth of the well.

ג  וְנֶאֶסְפוּ־שָׁמָּה כָל־הָעֲדָרִים וְגָלֲלוּ אֶת־הָאֶבֶן מֵעַל פִּי הַבְּאֵר וְהִשְׁקוּ אֶת־הַצֹּאן וְהֵשִׁיבוּ אֶת־הָאֶבֶן עַל־פִּי הַבְּאֵר לִמְקֹמָהּ׃

4  Yaakov said to them, “My friends, where are you from?” And they said, “We are from Haran.”

ד  וַיֹּאמֶר לָהֶם יַעֲקֹב אַחַי מֵאַיִן אַתֶּם וַיֹּאמְרוּ מֵחָרָן אֲנָחְנוּ׃

5  He said to them, “Do you know Laban the son of Nahor?” And they said, “Yes, we do.”

ה  וַיֹּאמֶר לָהֶם הַיְדַעְתֶּם אֶת־לָבָן בֶּן־נָחוֹר וַיֹּאמְרוּ יָדָעְנוּ׃

6  He continued, “Is he well?” They answered, “Yes, he is; and there is his daughter Rachel, coming with the flock.”

ו  וַיֹּאמֶר לָהֶם הֲשָׁלוֹם לוֹ וַיֹּאמְרוּ שָׁלוֹם וְהִנֵּה רָחֵל בִּתּוֹ בָּאָה עִם־הַצֹּאן׃

7  He said, “It is still broad daylight, too early to round up the animals; water the flock and take them to pasture.”

ז  וַיֹּאמֶר הֵן עוֹד הַיּוֹם גָּדוֹל לֹא־עֵת הֵאָסֵף הַמִּקְנֶה הַשְׁקוּ הַצֹּאן וּלְכוּ רְעוּ׃

8  But they said, “We cannot, until all the flocks are rounded up; then the stone is rolled off the mouth of the well and we water the sheep.”

ח  וַיֹּאמְרוּ לֹא נוּכַל עַד אֲשֶׁר יֵאָסְפוּ כָּל־הָעֲדָרִים וְגָלֲלוּ אֶת־הָאֶבֶן מֵעַל פִּי הַבְּאֵר וְהִשְׁקִינוּ הַצֹּאן׃

9  While he was still speaking with them, Rachel came with her father’s flock; for she was a shepherdess.

ט  עוֹדֶנּוּ מְדַבֵּר עִמָּם וְרָחֵל בָּאָה עִם־הַצֹּאן אֲשֶׁר לְאָבִיהָ כִּי רֹעָה הִוא׃

10  And when Yaakov saw Rachel, the daughter of his uncle Laban, and the flock of his uncle Laban, Yaakov went up and rolled the stone off the mouth of the well, and watered the flock of his uncle Laban.

י  וַיְהִי כַּאֲשֶׁר רָאָה יַעֲקֹב אֶת־רָחֵל בַּת־לָבָן אֲחִי אִמּוֹ וְאֶת־צֹאן לָבָן אֲחִי אִמּוֹ וַיִּגַּשׁ יַעֲקֹב וַיָּגֶל אֶת־הָאֶבֶן מֵעַל פִּי הַבְּאֵר וַיַּשְׁקְ אֶת־צֹאן לָבָן אֲחִי אִמּוֹ׃

11  Then Yaakov kissed Rachel, and broke into tears.

יא  וַיִּשַּׁק יַעֲקֹב לְרָחֵל וַיִּשָּׂא אֶת־קֹלוֹ וַיֵּבְךְּ׃

12  Yaakov told Rachel that he was her father’s kinsman, that he was Rivka‘s son; and she ran and told her father.

יב  וַיַּגֵּד יַעֲקֹב לְרָחֵל כִּי אֲחִי אָבִיהָ הוּא וְכִי בֶן־רִבְקָה הוּא וַתָּרָץ וַתַּגֵּד לְאָבִיהָ׃

13  On hearing the news of his sister’s son Yaakov, Laban ran to greet him; he embraced him and kissed him, and took him into his house. He told Laban all that had happened,

יג  וַיְהִי כִשְׁמֹעַ לָבָן אֶת־שֵׁמַע יַעֲקֹב בֶּן־אֲחֹתוֹ וַיָּרָץ לִקְרָאתוֹ וַיְחַבֶּק־לוֹ וַיְנַשֶּׁק־לוֹ וַיְבִיאֵהוּ אֶל־בֵּיתוֹ וַיְסַפֵּר לְלָבָן אֵת כָּל־הַדְּבָרִים הָאֵלֶּה׃

14  and Laban said to him, “You are truly my bone and flesh.” When he had stayed with him a month’s time,

יד  וַיֹּאמֶר לוֹ לָבָן אַךְ עַצְמִי וּבְשָׂרִי אָתָּה וַיֵּשֶׁב עִמּוֹ חֹדֶשׁ יָמִים׃

15  Laban said to Yaakov, “Just because you are a kinsman, should you serve me for nothing? Tell me, what shall your wages be?”

טו  וַיֹּאמֶר לָבָן לְיַעֲקֹב הֲכִי־אָחִי אַתָּה וַעֲבַדְתַּנִי חִנָּם הַגִּידָה לִּי מַה־מַּשְׂכֻּרְתֶּךָ׃

16  Now Laban had two daughters; the name of the older one was Leah, and the name of the younger was Rachel.

טז  וּלְלָבָן שְׁתֵּי בָנוֹת שֵׁם הַגְּדֹלָה לֵאָה וְשֵׁם הַקְּטַנָּה רָחֵל׃

17  Leah had weak eyes; Rachel was shapely and beautiful.

יז  וְעֵינֵי לֵאָה רַכּוֹת וְרָחֵל הָיְתָה יְפַת־תֹּאַר וִיפַת מַרְאֶה׃

18  Yaakov loved Rachel; so he answered, “I will serve you seven years for your younger daughter Rachel.”

יח  וַיֶּאֱהַב יַעֲקֹב אֶת־רָחֵל וַיֹּאמֶר אֶעֱבָדְךָ שֶׁבַע שָׁנִים בְּרָחֵל בִּתְּךָ הַקְּטַנָּה׃

19  Laban said, “Better that I give her to you than that I should give her to an outsider. Stay with me.”

יט  וַיֹּאמֶר לָבָן טוֹב תִּתִּי אֹתָהּ לָךְ מִתִּתִּי אֹתָהּ לְאִישׁ אַחֵר שְׁבָה עִמָּדִי׃

20  So Yaakov served seven years for Rachel and they seemed to him but a few days because of his love for her.

כ  וַיַּעֲבֹד יַעֲקֹב בְּרָחֵל שֶׁבַע שָׁנִים וַיִּהְיוּ בְעֵינָיו כְּיָמִים אֲחָדִים בְּאַהֲבָתוֹ אֹתָהּ׃

21  Then Yaakov said to Laban, “Give me my wife, for my time is fulfilled, that I may cohabit with her.”

כא  וַיֹּאמֶר יַעֲקֹב אֶל־לָבָן הָבָה אֶת־אִשְׁתִּי כִּי מָלְאוּ יָמָי וְאָבוֹאָה אֵלֶיהָ׃

22  And Laban gathered all the people of the place and made a feast.

כב  וַיֶּאֱסֹף לָבָן אֶת־כָּל־אַנְשֵׁי הַמָּקוֹם וַיַּעַשׂ מִשְׁתֶּה׃

23  When evening came, he took his daughter Leah and brought her to him; and he cohabited with her.

כג  וַיְהִי בָעֶרֶב וַיִּקַּח אֶת־לֵאָה בִתּוֹ וַיָּבֵא אֹתָהּ אֵלָיו וַיָּבֹא אֵלֶיהָ׃

24  Laban had given his maidservant Zilpa to his daughter Leah as her maid.

כד  וַיִּתֵּן לָבָן לָהּ אֶת־זִלְפָּה שִׁפְחָתוֹ לְלֵאָה בִתּוֹ שִׁפְחָה׃

25  When morning came, there was Leah! So he said to Laban, “What is this you have done to me? I was in your service for Rachel! Why did you deceive me?”

כה  וַיְהִי בַבֹּקֶר וְהִנֵּה־הִוא לֵאָה וַיֹּאמֶר אֶל־לָבָן מַה־זֹּאת עָשִׂיתָ לִּי הֲלֹא בְרָחֵל עָבַדְתִּי עִמָּךְ וְלָמָּה רִמִּיתָנִי׃

26  Laban said, “It is not the practice in our place to marry off the younger before the older.

כו  וַיֹּאמֶר לָבָן לֹא־יֵעָשֶׂה כֵן בִּמְקוֹמֵנוּ לָתֵת הַצְּעִירָה לִפְנֵי הַבְּכִירָה׃

27  Wait until the bridal week of this one is over and we will give you that one too, provided you serve me another seven years.”

כז  מַלֵּא שְׁבֻעַ זֹאת וְנִתְּנָה לְךָ גַּם־אֶת־זֹאת בַּעֲבֹדָה אֲשֶׁר תַּעֲבֹד עִמָּדִי עוֹד שֶׁבַע־שָׁנִים אֲחֵרוֹת׃

28  Yaakov did so; he waited out the bridal week of the one, and then he gave him his daughter Rachel as wife.—

כח  וַיַּעַשׂ יַעֲקֹב כֵּן וַיְמַלֵּא שְׁבֻעַ זֹאת וַיִּתֶּן־לוֹ אֶת־רָחֵל בִּתּוֹ לוֹ לְאִשָּׁה׃

29  Laban had given his maidservant Bilha to his daughter Rachel as her maid.

כט  וַיִּתֵּן לָבָן לְרָחֵל בִּתּוֹ אֶת־בִּלְהָה שִׁפְחָתוֹ לָהּ לְשִׁפְחָה׃

30  And Yaakov cohabited with Rachel also; indeed, he loved Rachel more than Leah. And he served him another seven years.

ל  וַיָּבֹא גַּם אֶל־רָחֵל וַיֶּאֱהַב גַּם־אֶת־רָחֵל מִלֵּאָה וַיַּעֲבֹד עִמּוֹ עוֹד שֶׁבַע־שָׁנִים אֲחֵרוֹת׃

31  Hashem saw that Leah was unloved and he opened her womb; but Rachel was barren.

לא  וַיַּרְא יְהֹוָה כִּי־שְׂנוּאָה לֵאָה וַיִּפְתַּח אֶת־רַחְמָהּ וְרָחֵל עֲקָרָה׃

32  Leah conceived and bore a son, and named him Reuven; for she declared, “It means: ‘Hashem has seen my affliction’; it also means: ‘Now my husband will love me.’”

לב  וַתַּהַר לֵאָה וַתֵּלֶד בֵּן וַתִּקְרָא שְׁמוֹ רְאוּבֵן כִּי אָמְרָה כִּי־רָאָה יְהֹוָה בְּעָנְיִי כִּי עַתָּה יֶאֱהָבַנִי אִישִׁי׃

33  She conceived again and bore a son, and declared, “This is because Hashem heard that I was unloved and has given me this one also”; so she named him Shimon.

לג  וַתַּהַר עוֹד וַתֵּלֶד בֵּן וַתֹּאמֶר כִּי־שָׁמַע יְהֹוָה כִּי־שְׂנוּאָה אָנֹכִי וַיִּתֶּן־לִי גַּם־אֶת־זֶה וַתִּקְרָא שְׁמוֹ שִׁמְעוֹן׃

34  Again she conceived and bore a son and declared, “This time my husband will become attached to me, for I have borne him three sons.” Therefore he was named Levi.

לד  וַתַּהַר עוֹד וַתֵּלֶד בֵּן וַתֹּאמֶר עַתָּה הַפַּעַם יִלָּוֶה אִישִׁי אֵלַי כִּי־יָלַדְתִּי לוֹ שְׁלֹשָׁה בָנִים עַל־כֵּן קָרָא־שְׁמוֹ לֵוִי׃

35  She conceived again and bore a son, and declared, “This time I will praise Hashem.” Therefore she named him Yehuda. Then she stopped bearing.

לה  וַתַּהַר עוֹד וַתֵּלֶד בֵּן וַתֹּאמֶר הַפַּעַם אוֹדֶה אֶת־יְהֹוָה עַל־כֵּן קָרְאָה שְׁמוֹ יְהוּדָה וַתַּעֲמֹד מִלֶּדֶת׃

30:1  When Rachel saw that she had borne Yaakov no children, she became envious of her sister; and Rachel said to Yaakov, “Give me children, or I shall die.”

ל:א  וַתֵּרֶא רָחֵל כִּי לֹא יָלְדָה לְיַעֲקֹב וַתְּקַנֵּא רָחֵל בַּאֲחֹתָהּ וַתֹּאמֶר אֶל־יַעֲקֹב הָבָה־לִּי בָנִים וְאִם־אַיִן מֵתָה אָנֹכִי׃

2  Yaakov was incensed at Rachel, and said, “Can I take the place of Hashem, who has denied you fruit of the womb?”

ב  וַיִּחַר־אַף יַעֲקֹב בְּרָחֵל וַיֹּאמֶר הֲתַחַת אֱלֹהִים אָנֹכִי אֲשֶׁר־מָנַע מִמֵּךְ פְּרִי־בָטֶן׃

3  She said, “Here is my maid Bilha. Consort with her, that she may bear on my knees and that through her I too may have children.”

ג  וַתֹּאמֶר הִנֵּה אֲמָתִי בִלְהָה בֹּא אֵלֶיהָ וְתֵלֵד עַל־בִּרְכַּי וְאִבָּנֶה גַם־אָנֹכִי מִמֶּנָּה׃

4  So she gave him her maid Bilha as concubine, and Yaakov cohabited with her.

ד  וַתִּתֶּן־לוֹ אֶת־בִּלְהָה שִׁפְחָתָהּ לְאִשָּׁה וַיָּבֹא אֵלֶיהָ יַעֲקֹב׃

5  Bilha conceived and bore Yaakov a son.

ה  וַתַּהַר בִּלְהָה וַתֵּלֶד לְיַעֲקֹב בֵּן׃

6  And Rachel said, “Hashem has vindicated me; indeed, He has heeded my plea and given me a son.” Therefore she named him Dan.

ו  וַתֹּאמֶר רָחֵל דָּנַנִּי אֱלֹהִים וְגַם שָׁמַע בְּקֹלִי וַיִּתֶּן־לִי בֵּן עַל־כֵּן קָרְאָה שְׁמוֹ דָּן׃

7  Rachel‘s maid Bilha conceived again and bore Yaakov a second son.

ז  וַתַּהַר עוֹד וַתֵּלֶד בִּלְהָה שִׁפְחַת רָחֵל בֵּן שֵׁנִי לְיַעֲקֹב׃

8  And Rachel said, “A fateful contest I waged with my sister; yes, and I have prevailed.” So she named him Naftali.

ח  וַתֹּאמֶר רָחֵל נַפְתּוּלֵי אֱלֹהִים נִפְתַּלְתִּי עִם־אֲחֹתִי גַּם־יָכֹלְתִּי וַתִּקְרָא שְׁמוֹ נַפְתָּלִי׃

9  When Leah saw that she had stopped bearing, she took her maid Zilpa and gave her to Yaakov as concubine.

ט  וַתֵּרֶא לֵאָה כִּי עָמְדָה מִלֶּדֶת וַתִּקַּח אֶת־זִלְפָּה שִׁפְחָתָהּ וַתִּתֵּן אֹתָהּ לְיַעֲקֹב לְאִשָּׁה׃

10  And when Leah‘s maid Zilpa bore Yaakov a son,

י  וַתֵּלֶד זִלְפָּה שִׁפְחַת לֵאָה לְיַעֲקֹב בֵּן׃

11  Leah said, “What luck!” So she named him Gad.

יא  וַתֹּאמֶר לֵאָה בגד [בָּא] [גָד] וַתִּקְרָא אֶת־שְׁמוֹ גָּד׃

12  When Leah‘s maid Zilpa bore Yaakov a second son,

יב  וַתֵּלֶד זִלְפָּה שִׁפְחַת לֵאָה בֵּן שֵׁנִי לְיַעֲקֹב׃

13  Leah declared, “What fortune!” meaning, “Women will deem me fortunate.” So she named him Asher.

יג  וַתֹּאמֶר לֵאָה בְּאָשְׁרִי כִּי אִשְּׁרוּנִי בָּנוֹת וַתִּקְרָא אֶת־שְׁמוֹ אָשֵׁר׃

14  Once, at the time of the wheat harvest, Reuven came upon some mandrakes in the field and brought them to his mother Leah. Rachel said to Leah, “Please give me some of your son’s mandrakes.”

יד  וַיֵּלֶךְ רְאוּבֵן בִּימֵי קְצִיר־חִטִּים וַיִּמְצָא דוּדָאִים בַּשָּׂדֶה וַיָּבֵא אֹתָם אֶל־לֵאָה אִמּוֹ וַתֹּאמֶר רָחֵל אֶל־לֵאָה תְּנִי־נָא לִי מִדּוּדָאֵי בְּנֵךְ׃

15  But she said to her, “Was it not enough for you to take away my husband, that you would also take my son’s mandrakes?” Rachel replied, “I promise, he shall lie with you tonight, in return for your son’s mandrakes.”

טו  וַתֹּאמֶר לָהּ הַמְעַט קַחְתֵּךְ אֶת־אִישִׁי וְלָקַחַת גַּם אֶת־דּוּדָאֵי בְּנִי וַתֹּאמֶר רָחֵל לָכֵן יִשְׁכַּב עִמָּךְ הַלַּיְלָה תַּחַת דּוּדָאֵי בְנֵךְ׃

16  When Yaakov came home from the field in the evening, Leah went out to meet him and said, “You are to sleep with me, for I have hired you with my son’s mandrakes.” And he lay with her that night.

טז  וַיָּבֹא יַעֲקֹב מִן־הַשָּׂדֶה בָּעֶרֶב וַתֵּצֵא לֵאָה לִקְרָאתוֹ וַתֹּאמֶר אֵלַי תָּבוֹא כִּי שָׂכֹר שְׂכַרְתִּיךָ בְּדוּדָאֵי בְּנִי וַיִּשְׁכַּב עִמָּהּ בַּלַּיְלָה הוּא׃

17  Hashem heeded Leah, and she conceived and bore him a fifth son.

יז  וַיִּשְׁמַע אֱלֹהִים אֶל־לֵאָה וַתַּהַר וַתֵּלֶד לְיַעֲקֹב בֵּן חֲמִישִׁי׃

18  And Leah said, “Hashem has given me my reward for having given my maid to my husband.” So she named him Yissachar.

יח  וַתֹּאמֶר לֵאָה נָתַן אֱלֹהִים שְׂכָרִי אֲשֶׁר־נָתַתִּי שִׁפְחָתִי לְאִישִׁי וַתִּקְרָא שְׁמוֹ יִשָּׂשכָר׃

19  When Leah conceived again and bore Yaakov a sixth son,

יט  וַתַּהַר עוֹד לֵאָה וַתֵּלֶד בֵּן־שִׁשִּׁי לְּיַעֲקֹב׃

20  Leah said, “Hashem has given me a choice gift; this time my husband will exalt me, for I have borne him six sons.” So she named him Zevulun.

כ  וַתֹּאמֶר לֵאָה זְבָדַנִי אֱלֹהִים אֹתִי זֵבֶד טוֹב הַפַּעַם יִזְבְּלֵנִי אִישִׁי כִּי־יָלַדְתִּי לוֹ שִׁשָּׁה בָנִים וַתִּקְרָא אֶת־שְׁמוֹ זְבֻלוּן׃

21  Last, she bore him a daughter, and named her Dina.

כא  וְאַחַר יָלְדָה בַּת וַתִּקְרָא אֶת־שְׁמָהּ דִּינָה׃

22  Now Hashem remembered Rachel; Hashem heeded her and opened her womb.

כב  וַיִּזְכֹּר אֱלֹהִים אֶת־רָחֵל וַיִּשְׁמַע אֵלֶיהָ אֱלֹהִים וַיִּפְתַּח אֶת־רַחְמָהּ׃

23  She conceived and bore a son, and said, “Hashem has taken away my disgrace.”

כג  וַתַּהַר וַתֵּלֶד בֵּן וַתֹּאמֶר אָסַף אֱלֹהִים אֶת־חֶרְפָּתִי׃

24  So she named him Yosef, which is to say, “May Hashem add another son for me.”

כד  וַתִּקְרָא אֶת־שְׁמוֹ יוֹסֵף לֵאמֹר יֹסֵף יְהֹוָה לִי בֵּן אַחֵר׃

25  After Rachel had borne Yosef, Yaakov said to Laban, “Give me leave to go back to my own homeland.

vai-HEE ka-a-SHER ya-l’-DAH ra-KHAYL et yo-SAYF va-YO-mer ya-a-KOV el la-VAN sha-l’-KHAY-nee v’-AY-l’-KHAH el m’-ko-MEE ul-ar-TZEE

כה  וַיְהִי כַּאֲשֶׁר יָלְדָה רָחֵל אֶת־יוֹסֵף וַיֹּאמֶר יַעֲקֹב אֶל־לָבָן שַׁלְּחֵנִי וְאֵלְכָה אֶל־מְקוֹמִי וּלְאַרְצִי׃

 30:25   To go back to my own homeland

Once Rachel has finally been blessed with a son, Yosef, Yaakov concludes that his time in exile has ended and he begins to prepare to return to the Land of Israel. Later in the Bible, Rashi explains that Yosef is referred to as a “flame” who will extinguish Esau who “shall be straw” (Obadiah 1:18). Once Esau’s defeater is born, Yaakov is free to return to the Land of Israel, from which he fled out of fear of Esau. The birth of Yosef reinforces Yaakov’s faith in Hashem and urges him to return home. Yaakov understands that his “own homeland” is only in Eretz Yisrael.1 comment

26  Give me my wives and my children, for whom I have served you, that I may go; for well you know what services I have rendered you.”

כו  תְּנָה אֶת־נָשַׁי וְאֶת־יְלָדַי אֲשֶׁר עָבַדְתִּי אֹתְךָ בָּהֵן וְאֵלֵכָה כִּי אַתָּה יָדַעְתָּ אֶת־עֲבֹדָתִי אֲשֶׁר עֲבַדְתִּיךָ׃

27  But Laban said to him, “If you will indulge me, I have learned by divination that Hashem has blessed me on your account.”

כז  וַיֹּאמֶר אֵלָיו לָבָן אִם־נָא מָצָאתִי חֵן בְּעֵינֶיךָ נִחַשְׁתִּי וַיְבָרֲכֵנִי יְהֹוָה בִּגְלָלֶךָ׃

28  And he continued, “Name the wages due from me, and I will pay you.”

כח  וַיֹּאמַר נָקְבָה שְׂכָרְךָ עָלַי וְאֶתֵּנָה׃

29  But he said, “You know well how I have served you and how your livestock has fared with me.

כט  וַיֹּאמֶר אֵלָיו אַתָּה יָדַעְתָּ אֵת אֲשֶׁר עֲבַדְתִּיךָ וְאֵת אֲשֶׁר־הָיָה מִקְנְךָ אִתִּי׃

30  For the little you had before I came has grown to much, since Hashem has blessed you wherever I turned. And now, when shall I make provision for my own household?”

ל  כִּי מְעַט אֲשֶׁר־הָיָה לְךָ לְפָנַי וַיִּפְרֹץ לָרֹב וַיְבָרֶךְ יְהֹוָה אֹתְךָ לְרַגְלִי וְעַתָּה מָתַי אֶעֱשֶׂה גַם־אָנֹכִי לְבֵיתִי׃

31  He said, “What shall I pay you?” And Yaakov said, “Pay me nothing! If you will do this thing for me, I will again pasture and keep your flocks:

לא  וַיֹּאמֶר מָה אֶתֶּן־לָךְ וַיֹּאמֶר יַעֲקֹב לֹא־תִתֶּן־לִי מְאוּמָה אִם־תַּעֲשֶׂה־לִּי הַדָּבָר הַזֶּה אָשׁוּבָה אֶרְעֶה צֹאנְךָ אֶשְׁמֹר׃

32  let me pass through your whole flock today, removing from there every speckled and spotted animal—every dark-colored sheep and every spotted and speckled goat. Such shall be my wages.

לב  אֶעֱבֹר בְּכָל־צֹאנְךָ הַיּוֹם הָסֵר מִשָּׁם כָּל־שֶׂה נָקֹד וְטָלוּא וְכָל־שֶׂה־חוּם בַּכְּשָׂבִים וְטָלוּא וְנָקֹד בָּעִזִּים וְהָיָה שְׂכָרִי׃

33  In the future when you go over my wages, let my honesty toward you testify for me: if there are among my goats any that are not speckled or spotted or any sheep that are not dark-colored, they got there by theft.”

לג  וְעָנְתָה־בִּי צִדְקָתִי בְּיוֹם מָחָר כִּי־תָבוֹא עַל־שְׂכָרִי לְפָנֶיךָ כֹּל אֲשֶׁר־אֵינֶנּוּ נָקֹד וְטָלוּא בָּעִזִּים וְחוּם בַּכְּשָׂבִים גָּנוּב הוּא אִתִּי׃

34  And Laban said, “Very well, let it be as you say.”

לד  וַיֹּאמֶר לָבָן הֵן לוּ יְהִי כִדְבָרֶךָ׃

35  But that same day he removed the streaked and spotted he-goats and all the speckled and spotted she-goats—every one that had white on it—and all the dark-colored sheep, and left them in the charge of his sons.

לה  וַיָּסַר בַּיּוֹם הַהוּא אֶת־הַתְּיָשִׁים הָעֲקֻדִּים וְהַטְּלֻאִים וְאֵת כָּל־הָעִזִּים הַנְּקֻדּוֹת וְהַטְּלֻאֹת כֹּל אֲשֶׁר־לָבָן בּוֹ וְכָל־חוּם בַּכְּשָׂבִים וַיִּתֵּן בְּיַד־בָּנָיו׃

36  And he put a distance of three days’ journey between himself and Yaakov, while Yaakov was pasturing the rest of Laban’s flock.

לו  וַיָּשֶׂם דֶּרֶךְ שְׁלֹשֶׁת יָמִים בֵּינוֹ וּבֵין יַעֲקֹב וְיַעֲקֹב רֹעֶה אֶת־צֹאן לָבָן הַנּוֹתָרֹת׃

37  Yaakov then got fresh shoots of poplar, and of almond and plane, and peeled white stripes in them, laying bare the white of the shoots.

לז  וַיִּקַּח־לוֹ יַעֲקֹב מַקַּל לִבְנֶה לַח וְלוּז וְעֶרְמוֹן וַיְפַצֵּל בָּהֵן פְּצָלוֹת לְבָנוֹת מַחְשֹׂף הַלָּבָן אֲשֶׁר עַל־הַמַּקְלוֹת׃

38  The rods that he had peeled he set up in front of the goats in the troughs, the water receptacles, that the goats came to drink from. Their mating occurred when they came to drink,

לח  וַיַּצֵּג אֶת־הַמַּקְלוֹת אֲשֶׁר פִּצֵּל בָּרֳהָטִים בְּשִׁקֲתוֹת הַמָּיִם אֲשֶׁר תָּבֹאןָ הַצֹּאן לִשְׁתּוֹת לְנֹכַח הַצֹּאן וַיֵּחַמְנָה בְּבֹאָן לִשְׁתּוֹת׃

39  and since the goats mated by the rods, the goats brought forth streaked, speckled, and spotted young.

לט  וַיֶּחֱמוּ הַצֹּאן אֶל־הַמַּקְלוֹת וַתֵּלַדְןָ הַצֹּאן עֲקֻדִּים נְקֻדִּים וּטְלֻאִים׃

40  But Yaakov dealt separately with the sheep; he made these animals face the streaked or wholly dark-colored animals in Laban’s flock. And so he produced special flocks for himself, which he did not put with Laban’s flocks.

מ  וְהַכְּשָׂבִים הִפְרִיד יַעֲקֹב וַיִּתֵּן פְּנֵי הַצֹּאן אֶל־עָקֹד וְכָל־חוּם בְּצֹאן לָבָן וַיָּשֶׁת־לוֹ עֲדָרִים לְבַדּוֹ וְלֹא שָׁתָם עַל־צֹאן לָבָן׃

41  Moreover, when the sturdier animals were mating, Yaakov would place the rods in the troughs, in full view of the animals, so that they mated by the rods;

מא  וְהָיָה בְּכָל־יַחֵם הַצֹּאן הַמְקֻשָּׁרוֹת וְשָׂם יַעֲקֹב אֶת־הַמַּקְלוֹת לְעֵינֵי הַצֹּאן בָּרֳהָטִים לְיַחְמֵנָּה בַּמַּקְלוֹת׃

42  but with the feebler animals he would not place them there. Thus the feeble ones went to Laban and the sturdy to Yaakov.

מב  וּבְהַעֲטִיף הַצֹּאן לֹא יָשִׂים וְהָיָה הָעֲטֻפִים לְלָבָן וְהַקְּשֻׁרִים לְיַעֲקֹב׃

43  So the man grew exceedingly prosperous, and came to own large flocks, maidservants and menservants, camels and asses.

מג  וַיִּפְרֹץ הָאִישׁ מְאֹד מְאֹד וַיְהִי־לוֹ צֹאן רַבּוֹת וּשְׁפָחוֹת וַעֲבָדִים וּגְמַלִּים וַחֲמֹרִים׃

31:1  Now he heard the things that Laban’s sons were saying: “Yaakov has taken all that was our father’s, and from that which was our father’s he has built up all this wealth.”

לא:א  וַיִּשְׁמַע אֶת־דִּבְרֵי בְנֵי־לָבָן לֵאמֹר לָקַח יַעֲקֹב אֵת כָּל־אֲשֶׁר לְאָבִינוּ וּמֵאֲשֶׁר לְאָבִינוּ עָשָׂה אֵת כָּל־הַכָּבֹד הַזֶּה׃

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