(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.
What does this law from the Holiness Code suggest about Jacob the Patriarch's behavior?
(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.
• 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?
• 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?
(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...
• What does this verse from the Ten Commandments suggest about generational guilt?
• How do you feel about the kind of God depicted here?
• 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?
(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