Teshuvah and Mishpachah
1 א

(ל) וַיָּבֹא֙ גַּ֣ם אֶל־רָחֵ֔ל וַיֶּאֱהַ֥ב גַּֽם־אֶת־רָחֵ֖ל מִלֵּאָ֑ה וַיַּעֲבֹ֣ד עִמּ֔וֹ ע֖וֹד שֶֽׁבַע־שָׁנִ֥ים אֲחֵרֽוֹת׃ (לא) וַיַּ֤רְא יי כִּֽי־שְׂנוּאָ֣ה לֵאָ֔ה וַיִּפְתַּ֖ח אֶת־רַחְמָ֑הּ וְרָחֵ֖ל עֲקָרָֽה׃

(30) And Jacob cohabited with Rachel also; indeed, he loved Rachel more than Leah. And he served him another seven years. (31) The LORD saw that Leah was hated (others: unloved) and he opened her womb; but Rachel was barren.

2 ב
(יח) וְאִשָּׁ֥ה אֶל־אֲחֹתָ֖הּ לֹ֣א תִקָּ֑ח לִצְרֹ֗ר לְגַלּ֧וֹת עֶרְוָתָ֛הּ עָלֶ֖יהָ בְּחַיֶּֽיהָ׃
(18) Do not marry a woman as a rival to her sister and uncover her nakedness in the other’s lifetime.
3 ג

What does this law from the Holiness Code suggest about Jacob the Patriarch's behavior?

4 ד
(א) אל אחתה. שְׁתֵּיהֶן כְּאַחַת (קידושין נ'):

(1) ‎ אל אחתה ‎[NEITHER SHALT THOU TAKE A WIFE] TO HER SISTER — both at the same time [i.e. simultaneously, which would void both betrothals; see Talmud Bavli Kiddushin 50b].

5 ה
(ב) לצרר. לְשׁוֹן צָרָה — לַעֲשׂוֹת אֶת זוֹ צָרָה לָזוֹ:

(2) לצרר is connected with the word ,צרה — a rival (cf. I Samuel 1:6). Thus the verse signifies “thou shalt not take a wife to her sister," to make the one the rival of the other.

6 ו
(ג) בחייה. לִמֶּדְךָ שֶׁאִם גֵרְשָׁהּ לֹא יִשָּׂא אֶת אֲחוֹתָהּ כָּל זְמַן שֶׁהִיא בַחַיִּים (יבמות ח'):
(3) בחייה DURING HER LIFE-TIME — This teaches you that if he divorced her (his wife) he is not allowed to marry her sister so long as she (the former) is still living (Yevamot 8b).
7 ז
(ב) ויאהב גם את רחל מלאה, להודיע כי גם לאה אהב, אע"פ שלא בחר בה מתחלה לאשה, כיון שנשאה לו אע"פ שלא היה בכוונה, אהבה כמו שאדם אהב אשתו, אבל יותר אהב רחל:
(2) ויאהב גם את רחל, the Torah had to write this in order to inform us that Yaakov loved Leah also, even though originally he had not chosen her to become his wife. In the event, now that she had become his wife, he loved her just as most husbands love their wives. However, he loved Rachel better.
8 ח
(א) וירא יי כי שנואה לאה, לא היה יעקב שונא אותה, אבל היה אוהב אותה, אלא לפי שהיה אוהב את רחל יותר מלאה קרא לאה שנואה, כלומר כנגד אהבתה של רחל היתה שנואה, וכן האחת אהובה והאחת שנואה (דברים כ"א ט"ו) ולפי שהית' עלובה בעיניה שלא היתה אהובה כאחותה ראה יי בעניה ויפתח את רחמה.

(1) וירא ה' כי שנואה לאה, Yaakov did not hate her; in fact he loved her. However, seeing that he loved Rachel better it appeared as if he hated Leah. We find a similar situation in Deuteronomy 21,15 where the Torah speaks about a husband “hating” one of his two wives. The meaning there is also relative to the wife he prefers. G’d, Who knew the true state of affairs, i.e. what Leah’s perception of her husband’s feelings toward here were, opened her womb.

9 ט

• How do Rashi and Radak address the difficulty raised by the Gen. 29 and Lev. 18 texts?

• Is either of their attempts at a resolution satisfying? Why?

10 י
(טו) כִּֽי־תִהְיֶ֨יןָ לְאִ֜ישׁ שְׁתֵּ֣י נָשִׁ֗ים הָאַחַ֤ת אֲהוּבָה֙ וְהָאַחַ֣ת שְׂנוּאָ֔ה וְיָֽלְדוּ־ל֣וֹ בָנִ֔ים הָאֲהוּבָ֖ה וְהַשְּׂנוּאָ֑ה וְהָיָ֛ה הַבֵּ֥ן הַבְּכ֖וֹר לַשְּׂנִיאָֽה׃ (טז) וְהָיָ֗ה בְּיוֹם֙ הַנְחִיל֣וֹ אֶת־בָּנָ֔יו אֵ֥ת אֲשֶׁר־יִהְיֶ֖ה ל֑וֹ לֹ֣א יוּכַ֗ל לְבַכֵּר֙ אֶת־בֶּן־הָ֣אֲהוּבָ֔ה עַל־פְּנֵ֥י בֶן־הַשְּׂנוּאָ֖ה הַבְּכֹֽר׃ (יז) כִּי֩ אֶת־הַבְּכֹ֨ר בֶּן־הַשְּׂנוּאָ֜ה יַכִּ֗יר לָ֤תֶת לוֹ֙ פִּ֣י שְׁנַ֔יִם בְּכֹ֥ל אֲשֶׁר־יִמָּצֵ֖א ל֑וֹ כִּי־הוּא֙ רֵאשִׁ֣ית אֹנ֔וֹ ל֖וֹ מִשְׁפַּ֥ט הַבְּכֹרָֽה׃ (ס)
(15) If a man has two wives, one loved and the other unloved, and both the loved and the unloved have borne him sons, but the first-born is the son of the unloved one— (16) when he wills his property to his sons, he may not treat as first-born the son of the loved one in disregard of the son of the unloved one who is older. (17) Instead, he must accept the first-born, the son of the unloved one, and allot to him a double portion of all he possesses; since he is the first fruit of his vigor, the birthright is his due.
11 יא
(א) אהובה. בעיניו ולא לשם:
(1) beloved in his view — not in an absolute sense.
12 יב
(א) יכיר. יעשה לו הכרה או שיודה לפני אחרים מי שהוא בכור אם היה במקום שלא יודעו או הוא חייב מבתחלה שיכיר מי שהוא הבכור מבניו אם היו תאומים:
(1) recognize He must grant him a formal recognition. or He must publicly designate him to be the firstborn, if he is in a place where he is not known. or He is obliged from the beginning to recognize which of his sons is the elder, in the case when there were twin boys.
13 יג
(ג) כי הוא ראשית אונו. הנודע עם הישר ידבר וכל ישראל בחזקת ישרים:
(3) he is the first fruit of his strength that is, as far as is known. Scripture concerns itself with proper folk (and all Jews are presumed proper in this regard).
14 יד

• What does this Deut. text suggest about Jacob's behavior with Rachel and Leah?

• Which other biblical family narratives are echoed in the Deut. text and ibn Ezra commentary?

15 טו
(ה) לֹֽא־תִשְׁתַּחְוֶ֥֣ה לָהֶ֖ם֮ וְלֹ֣א תָעָבְדֵ֑ם֒ כִּ֣י אָֽנֹכִ֞י יי אֱלֹקֶ֙יךָ֙ אֵ֣ל קַנָּ֔א פֹּ֠קֵד עֲוֺ֨ן אָבֹ֧ת עַל־בָּנִ֛ים עַל־שִׁלֵּשִׁ֥ים וְעַל־רִבֵּעִ֖ים לְשֹׂנְאָֽ֑י׃

(5) You shall not bow down to them or serve them. For I the LORD your God am an impassioned God, visiting the guilt of the parents upon the children, upon the third and upon the fourth generations of those who reject Me...

16 טז

• What does this verse from the Ten Commandments suggest about generational guilt?

• How do you feel about the kind of God depicted here?

17 יז
(ב) מַה־לָּכֶ֗ם אַתֶּם֙ מֹֽשְׁלִים֙ אֶת־הַמָּשָׁ֣ל הַזֶּ֔ה עַל־אַדְמַ֥ת יִשְׂרָאֵ֖ל לֵאמֹ֑ר אָבוֹת֙ יֹ֣אכְלוּ בֹ֔סֶר וְשִׁנֵּ֥י הַבָּנִ֖ים תִּקְהֶֽינָה׃ (ג) חַי־אָ֕נִי נְאֻ֖ם אדושם יי אִם־יִֽהְיֶ֨ה לָכֶ֜ם ע֗וֹד מְשֹׁ֛ל הַמָּשָׁ֥ל הַזֶּ֖ה בְּיִשְׂרָאֵֽל׃ (ד) הֵ֤ן כָּל־הַנְּפָשׁוֹת֙ לִ֣י הֵ֔נָּה כְּנֶ֧פֶשׁ הָאָ֛ב וּכְנֶ֥פֶשׁ הַבֵּ֖ן לִי־הֵ֑נָּה הַנֶּ֥פֶשׁ הַחֹטֵ֖את הִ֥יא תָמֽוּת׃ (ס)
(2) What do you mean by quoting this proverb upon the soil of Israel, “Parents eat sour grapes and their children’s teeth are blunted”? (3) As I live—declares the Lord GOD—this proverb shall no longer be current among you in Israel. (4) Consider, all lives are Mine; the life of the parent and the life of the child are both Mine. The person who sins, only he shall die.
18 יח
(כ) הַנֶּ֥פֶשׁ הַחֹטֵ֖את הִ֣יא תָמ֑וּת בֵּ֞ן לֹא־יִשָּׂ֣א ׀ בַּעֲוֺ֣ן הָאָ֗ב וְאָב֙ לֹ֤א יִשָּׂא֙ בַּעֲוֺ֣ן הַבֵּ֔ן צִדְקַ֤ת הַצַּדִּיק֙ עָלָ֣יו תִּֽהְיֶ֔ה וְרִשְׁעַ֥ת רשע [הָרָשָׁ֖ע] עָלָ֥יו תִּֽהְיֶֽה׃ (ס)
(20) The person who sins, he alone shall die. A child shall not share the burden of a parent’s guilt, nor shall a parent share the burden of a child’s guilt; the righteousness of the righteous shall be accounted to him alone, and the wickedness of the wicked shall be accounted to him alone.
19 יט

• How does the Ezekiel 18 text address the concept of generational guilt in Exodus 20?

• How does Ezekiel's concept of God differ from the Exod 20 depiction?

• How is each of these paradigms helpful or challenging in thinking about the High Holy Days, sin/repentance, and our family relationships?

20 כ
(י) כִּי־אָבִ֣י וְאִמִּ֣י עֲזָב֑וּנִי וַֽיי יַֽאַסְפֵֽנִי׃
(10) Though my father and mother abandon me, the LORD will take me in.
21 כא

(רנז) כְּרַחֵם אָב עַל בָּנִים

(רנח) כֵּן תְּרַחֵם יי עָלֵֽינוּ:

(257) As a father has compassion on his children

(258) so do You have compassion on us, Adonoy

22 כב
(ו) וַיַּעֲבֹ֨ר יי ׀ עַל־פָּנָיו֮ וַיִּקְרָא֒ יי ׀ יי אֵ֥ל רַח֖וּם וְחַנּ֑וּן אֶ֥רֶךְ אַפַּ֖יִם וְרַב־חֶ֥סֶד וֶאֱמֶֽת ׀ (ז) נֹצֵ֥ר חֶ֙סֶד֙ לָאֲלָפִ֔ים נֹשֵׂ֥א עָוֺ֛ן וָפֶ֖שַׁע וְחַטָּאָ֑ה וְנַקֵּה֙ לֹ֣א יְנַקֶּ֔ה פֹּקֵ֣ד ׀ עֲוֺ֣ן אָב֗וֹת עַל־בָּנִים֙ וְעַל־בְּנֵ֣י בָנִ֔ים עַל־שִׁלֵּשִׁ֖ים וְעַל־רִבֵּעִֽים׃
(6) The LORD passed before him and proclaimed: “The LORD! the LORD! a God compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, abounding in kindness and faithfulness, (7) extending kindness to the thousandth generation, forgiving iniquity, transgression, and sin; yet He does not remit all punishment, but visits the iniquity of parents upon children and children’s children, upon the third and fourth generations.”