Drash Cards for VaYeitze
by Marc Mangel
• Today, I want to discuss Laban’s deception regarding Rachel and Leah. The key verses are Ch 29, v 18, 19, 26, and 27.
• This is the origin of a lot of halacha such as the older daughter marries before the younger, one does not mix one festivity with another, the length of the period of betrothal, the blessings of the Chupah.
• The Chazal in Madras Tachuma teach that the deception of Jacob by Laban is a working of strict justice.
• I want to focus now on Ch 29, v26 and in particular the word “B’mekomnu”. Rashi is silent on this verse. Rambam asks “why plural”?
• One characteristic of a wicked person that stands in the way of change is the flight from personal responsibility by placing it on somebody else’s shoulders. “Am I to blame? — No. I am just a member of the community and that’s how we do things here”
• Rambam then answers: You are responsible for your own deeds, not the organization, community, or something backing you. This is as valid today as it was 3000 years ago
• Nehama Leibowitz says “Rambam shows us how a small grammatical point can have important moral implications…The grammatical question, content, and idea are all part and parcel of the teaching of Judaism called Torah and require study”