Bereisheet (Genesis): Vayeitzei > Ch 29

Jacob goes to the house of Laban and falls in love with Rachel

  • Jacob went to the East. He saw 3 flocks of sheep lying beside a well covered by a huge rock which could only be lifted when all shepherds would gather. At that time, Rachel came to water her sheep and the shepherds of the 3 flocks told Jacob that she was Laban’s daughter. Jacob rolled the rock off the mouth of the well, watered the sheep of Laban, kissed Rachel, told her who he was and they went to the house of Laban.

Laban tricks Jacob into marrying both Leah and Rachel

  • Laban had two daughters, Leah and Rachel. Rachel was younger, she was beautiful and Jacob fell in love with her. So Jacob worked for Rachel seven years, but they appeared to him like a few days because of his love for her. At the end of the seven years Jacob took her for a wife, but in the morning it turned out that Laban tricked him and he was with Leah. After a week Laban gave him Rachel, but Jacob had to work for another seven years.
  • Laban gave Leah and Rachel his maidservants: Zilpah as a maidservant to Leah and Bilhah as a maidservant to Rachel

Leah has 4 sons: Reuben, Simeon, Levi and Judah

  • G-d saw that Leah was hated, so He opened her womb; but Rachel was barren. Leah tried to win Jacob’s love and had 4 sons: Reuben, Simeon, Levi and Judah

Rashi Commentary

  • I will work for you seven years (Gen. Rabbah 67:10, 70:17) They are the few days of which his mother said, “And you shall dwell with him for a few days.” (27:44 above) You should know that this is so, because it is written: “and they appeared to him like a few days.” (verse 20)
  • He named him Levi G-d named him Levi. (note the uppercase He)