Weekly Torah Portions


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Rav Zilber in Russian

In his journey from Be' er Sheva to Choran, Yaakov reached the mountain of Moriah and slept there overnight. In a dreamlike vision, he saw angels ascending and descending a ladder standing on the earth with its top reaching the heavens.

In his journey from Be' er Sheva to Choran, Yaakov reached the mountain of Moriah and slept there overnight. In a dreamlike vision, he saw angels ascending and descending a ladder standing on the earth with its top reaching the heavens. Hashem then appeared to Yaakov and promised him that the land he was now resting on would be given to him and his descendants, and that he would return home under Hashem's protection. Upon awaking, Yaakov anointed and consecrated the stone he had placed under his head as an altar to Hashem. He vowed that when he returned safely to his father's home, he would offer to Hashem one-tenth of all the possessions Hashem would give him. He would return to worship and pray to Hashem at the altar he had just consecrated.

Yaakov arrived at a well of water in a field in the outskirts of Choran. He noticed three flocks of sheep and their shepherds had gathered around the well and were just sitting idly. Yaakov approached them and asked, "From where are you” "We are from Choran," was the reply. "Do you know Lavan the son of Nochor?" continued Yaakov. "We know him.“

As they were conversing, Rachel drew nearer with her father's sheep. When Yaakov saw this he went over to the well and rolled the heavy stone off the well single-handedly, and gave Lavan's sheep water to drink.

He then told Rachel that he is Yitzchak’s son and she quickly ran to inform her father of the arrival of their visitor. Lavan welcomed Yaakov who agreed to work as Lavan's shepherd for seven years in order to marry Rachel, whom he had come to love. Lavan agreed, but after the seven years had elapsed, he tricked Yaakov by substituting his elder daughter Leah in place of Rachel under the wedding canopy. His excuse for this deceitful breach of promise was that Leah was older and therefore should be married first. Yaakov had no choice but to accept the situation. He soon after married Rachel as well, on the condition that he would work another seven years for Lavan.

Hashem saw that Leah was not as well liked as Rachel, and He consequently caused Leah to have children while Rachel remained barren. Leah gave birth to Yaakov's first four sons: Reuven, Shimon, Levi and Yehudah. Rachel saw that she was not having children, so she followed Yaakov's grandmother Sarah's example and offered her handmaiden, Bilhah, to Yaakov as a wife. Bilhah bore Yaakov his next two sons, Dan and Naftali.
Leah saw that she had stopped giving birth and she also gave her handmaiden Zilpoh to Yaakov as a wife. Zilpah bore to Yaakov his next two sons, Gad and Usher. Leah herself then gave birth to two sons, Yissochar and Zevulun. She also gave birth to a daughter named Dina. Then Hashem remembered Rachel and listened to her prayers and she gave birth to a son whom she called Yoseph.

Yaakov takes his family and returnes home.

1st Alliya
2nd Aliya
3rd Alilya
4th Aliya
5th Aliya
6th Aliya
7th Aliya

Jacob's Journey

Jacob left Beer-sheba and headed toward Charan. He came to a familiar place and spent the night there because the sun had already set. Taking some stones, he placed them at his head and lay down to sleep there. 

He had a vision in a dream. A ladder was standing on the ground, and its top reached up toward heaven. God's angels were going up and down on it. Suddenly he saw God standing over him. 

[God] said, "I am God, Lord of Abraham your father, and Lord of Isaac. I will give to you and your descendants the land upon which you are lying. Your descendants will be like the dust of the earth. You shall spread out to the west, to the east, to the north, and to the south. All the families on earth will be blessed through you and your descendants. I am with you. I will protect you wherever you go and bring you back to this soil. I will not turn aside from you until I have fully kept this promise to you." 

Jacob awoke from his sleep. "God is truly in this place," he said, "but I did not know it." He was frightened. "How awe-inspiring this place is!" he exclaimed. "It must be God's temple. It is the gate to heaven!" 

Jacob got up early in the morning and took the stone that he had placed under his head. He stood it up as a pillar and poured oil on top of it. He named the place God's Temple (Beth El). The town's original name, however, had been Luz. 

Jacob made a vow. "If God will be with me," he said, "if He will protect me on the journey that I am taking, if He gives me bread to eat and clothing to wear, and if I return in peace to my father's house, then I will dedicate myself totally to God. Let this stone that I have set up as a pillar become a temple to God. Of all that You give me, I will set aside a tenth to You."


Jacob set off briskly, and headed toward the land of the people of the East. [He came to a place] where he saw a well in a field. Three flocks of sheep were lying beside it, since it was from this well that the flocks were watered. The top of the well was covered with a large stone. When all the flocks would come together there, [the shepherds] would roll the stone from the top of the well and water the sheep. Then they would replace the stone on the well. 

[Some shepherds were there.] "From where do you come, brothers?" asked Jacob.
"We are from Charan."
"Do you know Nachor's grandson, Laban?"
"We know him."
"Is he doing well?"
"Well enough! Here's his daughter Rachel, coming with the sheep."
"But it's still the middle of the day. It's not yet time to bring the livestock together. Why not water the sheep and go on grazing?”
"We can't until all the flocks have come together. [All of us] then roll the stone from the top of the well. Only then can we water the sheep." 

While he was still conversing with them, Rachel appeared with her father's sheep. She was the shepherdess. Jacob looked at his cousin Rachel who was with his uncle Laban's sheep. He stepped forward, and rolled the stone from the top of the well, watering his uncle Laban's sheep. 

Jacob kissed Rachel and wept aloud. He told her that he was Rebecca's son, and thus related to her father. She ran to tell her father. 

When Laban heard the news that Jacob had arrived, he ran to greet him. He embraced and kissed him, and brought him home. [Jacob] told Laban all that had happened. "Yes indeed, you are my own flesh and blood," said Laban.
Jacob remained with him for a month. Laban then said to Jacob, "Just because you are my close relative, does it mean that you must work for me for nothing? Tell me what you want to be paid." 

Laban had two daughters. The older one's name was Leah, and the younger one's name was Rachel. Leah had lovely eyes, while Rachel was shapely and beautiful.


Jacob had fallen in love with Rachel. "I will work for you seven years for Rachel, your younger daughter," he said. "Better I should give her to you than to another man," replied Laban. "You can stay with me." Jacob worked seven years for Rachel. But he loved her so much, it seemed like no more than a few days. Finally Jacob said to Laban, "The time is up. Give me my bride and let me marry her." [Laban] invited all the local people and made a wedding feast. In the evening, he took his daughter Leah and brought her to [Jacob] who consummated the marriage with her. Laban had also given his servant Zilpah to his laughter Leah to be her handmaid. 

In the morning, [Jacob discovered that] it was Leah. He said to Laban, "How could you do this to me? Didn't I work with you for Rachel? Why did you cheat me?" "In our country it is something that is simply not done!" replied Laban. "[We never] give a younger daughter in marriage before the first-born. But wait until this week [of wedding celebrations] for [Leah] is over. Then we will give you the other girl-in return for the work that you will do for me for another seven years." Jacob complied and completed the week of celebration for [Leah]. [Laban] then gave him his daughter Rachel as a wife. To his daughter Rachel, Laban gave his servant Bilhah as a handmaid. 

[Jacob] thus also married Rachel, and he loved Rachel more than Leah. He worked for [Laban] another seven years.
God saw that Leah was unloved, and He opened her womb. Rachel remained barren. Leah became pregnant and gave birth to a son. She named him Reuben. "God has seen my troubles," she said. "Now my husband will love me." She became pregnant again and had a son. "God has heard (shama) that I was unloved," she said, "and He also gave me this son." She named the child Simeon (Shim’on). She became pregnant again and had a son. "Now my husband will become attached (lavah) to me," she said, "because I have given him three sons." [Jacob] therefore named the child Levi. She became pregnant again and had a son. She said, "This time let me praise (odeh) God," and named the child Judah (Yehudah). She then stopped having children.
Rachel realized that she was not bearing any children to Jacob. She was jealous of her sister and said to Jacob, "Give me children. If not, let me die!" 

Jacob became furious with Rachel. "Shall I take God's place?" he said. "It is He who is holding back the fruit of your womb."
[Rachel] said, "Here is my handmaid Bilhah. Come to her and let her give birth on my lap. Through her I will then also have a son." She gave him her handmaid Bilhah as a wife, and Jacob came to her. Bilhah became pregnant and gave birth to Jacob's son. Rachel said, "God has judged (dan) me and has also heard my prayer. He has finally given me a son!" She therefore named the child Dan. 

Rachel's handmaid Bilhah became pregnant again and had a second son by Jacob. Rachel said, "I have been twisted around with my sister through all of God's roundabout ways (naphtuley), but I have finally won. She therefore named the child Naphtali.
Leah realized that she was no longer having children. She took her handmaid Zilpah and gave her to Jacob as a wife. Leah's handmaid Zilpah bore Jacob a son. "Good fortune (gad) has come!" exclaimed Leah. She named the child Gad.
Leah's handmaid Zilpah bore a second son to Jacob. "It's my happiness (asher)," said Leah. "Young girls will consider me happy!" She named the child Asher.


Reuben took a walk during the wheat harvest and he found mandrakes in the field. He brought them to his mother Leah.
Rachel said to Leah, "Please give me some of your son's mandrakes." "Isn't it enough that you have taken away my husband?" retorted Leah. "Now you even want to take my son's mandrakes!" "All right," replied Rachel. "[Jacob] will sleep with you tonight in exchange for your son's mandrakes." When Jacob came home from the field that evening, Leah went out to meet him. "You will come to me," she said. "I have paid for your services with my son's mandrakes." He slept with her that night.

God heard Leah's [prayer], and she became pregnant, giving birth to a fifth son to Jacob. Leah said, "God has given me my reward (sakhar) because I have given my handmaid to my husband." She named the child Issachar. Leah became pregnant again, and she bore Jacob a sixth son. "God has given me a wonderful gift (zeved)," said Leah. "Now let my husband make his permanent home (zevul) with me." She named the child Zebulun (Zevulun). Leah then had a daughter, and she named her Dinah. 

God gave special consideration to Rachel. He heard her [prayer] and opened her Womb. She became pregnant and gave birth to a son. "God has gathered away (asaph) my humiliation," she said. She named the child Joseph (Yoseph), saying, "May God grant another (yoseph) son to me." After Rachel had given birth to Joseph, Jacob said to Laban, "Let me leave. I would like to go home to my own land. Let me have my wives and children, since I have earned them by working for you, and I will go. You are well aware of the service that I rendered you." "Haven't I earned your friendship?" replied Laban. "I have made use of divination and have learned that it is because of you that God has blessed.


"Just name your price!" said [Laban]. "I will give it!" "You know full well how I worked for you," replied [Jacob],"and how our livestock fared with me. You had very little before I came, but since then it has increased and become very substantial. God blessed you with my coming. But when will I do something to build my own estate?" "What shall I give you?"

"Do not give me anything. Just do this one thing for me. I will come back and tend your sheep, giving them the best care. I will go through all your flocks [with you] today. Remove every lamb that is spotted or streaked, every sheep that has dark markings. [Also remove] every goat that is streaked or spotted. It is with that kind that I will be paid. 

In the future, this will be a sign of my honesty. I will let you inspect all that I have taken as my pay. Any goat that is not spotted or streaked, or any sheep without dark markings, that is in my possession can be considered stolen."
"Agreed!" replied Laban. “May your words only come true!”

That day, [Laban] removed the ringed and streaked he - goats, and all the spotted and streaked she-goats--every one with a trace of white. [He also removed] every sheep with dark markings. These he gave to his sons. He then separated himself from Jacob by the distance of a three day journey. Jacob was left tending Laban's remaining sheep. 

Jacob took wands of fresh storax, almond and plane. He peeled white stripes in them by uncovering the white layer under the wands' [bark]. He set up the wands that he peeled near the watering troughs where the flocks came to drink, facing the animals. It was when they came to drink that they usually mated. The animals mated in the presence of the wands, and the young they bore were ringed, spotted and streaked. 

Jacob segregated the young animals. Still, he made the animals in Laban's flocks look at the ringed ones and all those with dark markings. But he bred his own flocks separately, and did not let them breed with Laban's flocks.
Whenever the stronger animals mated, Jacob placed the wands before their eyes at the troughs, so that they would mate facing the wands. But when the sheep were feeble, he did not place [the wands]. The feeble ones thus went to Laban, while Jacob got the stronger ones. In this manner, the man became tremendously wealthy. He had many sheep and goats, as well as slaves, slave-girls, camels and donkeys. 

[Jacob] began to hear that Laban's sons were saying, "Jacob has taken everything belonging to our father. He has become rich by taking our father's property!" When Jacob saw Laban in person, [Laban also] did not behave to him as he did before.
God said to Jacob, "Go back to your birthplace in the land of your fathers. I will be with you." Jacob sent word and summoned Rachel and Leah to the field where his flock was. " I saw your father's face," he said. " He is not acting the same with me as he used to. But the God of my father has been with me. 

"You know full well that I served your father with all my strength. Your father swindled me and changed his mind about my pay at least ten times, but God would not let him harm me. If he said, 'Your pay will be the spotted ones,' then all the animals gave birth to spotted young. If he said, 'Ringed ones will be your wage,' then all the animals dropped ringed ones. God thus eroded your father's livestock and gave it to me. 

"During the breeding season, I suddenly had a vision. I saw that the bucks mounting the sheep were ringed, spotted and flecked.
"An angel called to me in God's name, 'Jacob!'-- and I replied' Yes.' He said, 'Raise your eyes, and you will see that the bucks mounting the sheep are ringed, spotted and flecked. Let this be a sign that I have seen all that Laban is doing to you. I am the God of Beth El, where you anointed a pillar and made an oath to Me. Now set out and leave this land. Return to the land where you were born.’” 

Rachel and Leah both spoke up. "Do we then still have a portion and an inheritance in our father's estate?" they exclaimed. "Why, he treats us like strangers! He has sold us and spent the money! All the wealth that God has taken from our father actually belongs to us and our children. Now, whatever God has said to you, do it!”


Jacob began the journey, placing his children and wives on the camels. He led away all his livestock, and took all the goods, he had acquired, including everything that he had bought in Padan Aram. He was heading to see his father Isaac in the land of Canaan. Meanwhile, Laban was away, shearing his sheep. Rachel stole the fetishes that belonged to her father. Jacob decided to go behind the back of Laban the Aramaean, and did not tell him that he was leaving. He thus fled with all he owned. He set out and crossed the Euphrates, heading in the direction of the Gilead Mountains. 

On the third day, Laban was informed that Jacob had fled. He took along his kinsmen and pursued [Jacob] for seven days, intercepting him in the Gilead Mountains. God appeared to Laban the Aramaean that night in a dream, and said, "Be very careful not to say anything, good or bad, to Jacob." 

Laban then overtook Jacob. Jacob had set up his tents on a hill, while Laban had stationed his kinsmen on Mount Gilead.
Laban said to Jacob, "How could you do this? You went behind my back and led my daughters away like prisoners of war! Why did you have to leave so secretly? You went behind my back and told me nothing! Why, I would have sent you off with celebration and song, with drum and lyre! You didn't even let me kiss my grandsons and daughters goodby. 

"What you did was very foolish. I have it in my power to do you great harm. But your father's God spoke to me last night and said, ‘Be very careful not to say anything, good or bad, to Jacob.’ "I realize that you left because you missed your parents' home. But why did you have to steal my gods?" 

Jacob spoke up. "[I left this way] because I was afraid," he said. "I thought that you might take your daughters away from me by force. If you find your gods with anyone here, let him not live! Let all our close relatives here be witnesses. See if there is anything belonging to you and take it back." Jacob did not realize that Rachel had stolen them. 

Laban went into the tents of Jacob, Leah, and the two handmaids, but he found nothing. When he left Leah's tent, he went into Rachel's. Rachel had taken the fetishes and placed them inside a camel cushion, sitting down on them. Laban inspected the entire tent, and found nothing. [Rachel] said to her father, "Do not be angry, my lord, but I cannot get up for you. I have my female period." Laban searched, but he did not find the fetishes. 

Jacob was angry, and he argued with Laban, asserting himself. "What is my crime?" he exclaimed. "What terrible thing did I do that you came chasing me like this? You inspected all my things - what did you find from your house? Place it right here! In front of my relatives and yours! Let them determine which of us is right! 

"Twenty years I worked for you! All that time, your sheep and goats never lost their young. Not once did I ever take a ram from your flocks as food. I never brought you an animal that had been attacked - I took the blame myself. You made me make it good whether it was carried off by day or by night. 

"By day I was consumed by the scorching heat, and at night by the frost, when sleep was snatched from my eyes. Twenty years now I have worked for you in your estate - fourteen years for your two daughters, and six years for some of your flocks. You changed my wages ten times! 

"If the God of my fathers - the God of Abraham and the Dread of Isaac - had not been with me, you would have sent me away empty – handed! But God saw my plight and the work of my hands. Last night, He rendered judgment!"


Laban interrupted Jacob. "The daughters are my daughters! The sons are my sons! The flocks are my flocks! All that you see is mine! But my daughters ... what can I do to them today? Or to the children they have born? Now come! Let's make a treaty - you and I. Let there be a tangible evidence of it between you and me." 

Jacob took a boulder and raised it as a pillar. "Gather stones!" hi said to his relatives. They took stones and made a large mound. They ate them on top of the mound. 

Laban called it Witness Mound (Yegar Sahadutha), but Jacob named it Gal'ed. "This mound shall be a witness between you and me today," said Laban. "That's why it is called Gal'ed. [Let the pillar be called] Watchpost (Mitzpah.) Let it be said that God will keep watch between you and me when we are out of each other's sight. If you degrade my daughters, or marry other women in addition to them, there may be no one with us, but you must always realize that God is the Witness between you and me." 

Laban then said, "Here is the mound and here is the pillar that I have set up between us. The mound shall be a witness, and the pillar shall be a witness. I am not to go beyond the mound with bad intentions, and you are not to go beyond the mound and pillar. May the God of Abraham, the god of Nachor, and the god of their fathers be our judge." 

Jacob swore by the Dread of his father Isaac. He then butchered an animal on the hill, and invited his relatives to break bread. They had a meal and spent the night on the hill. Laban got up early the next morning and kissed his grandsons and daughters goodby. He then blessed them and left to return home. Jacob also continued on his way. He encountered angels of God. When Jacob saw them, he said, "This is God's camp." He named the place Twin Camps (Machanaim).

Спасаясь от Эйсава, Яаков отправился из Беэр-Шевы в сторону Харана, где жила семья его матери. Ночь застала его в месте, называвшемся Луз. Положив камни в изголовье, он лег спать и увидел пророческий сон, в котором ангелы поднимались и спускались по лестнице, установленной между небом и землей. Б-г обратился к нему со словами завета, заключенного Им с праотцами Авраамом и Ицхаком, и обещал дать ему Землю Израиля, произвести от него великий народ, а также никогда не оставлять его без Своего покровительства. Пробудившись, Яаков установил камень, служивший ему изголовьем, памятным знаком о происшедшем откровении, поклялся после своего возвращения построить на этом месте жертвенник, отдавать Б-гу десятую часть всех своих доходов, а также переименовал Луз в Бейт-Эль ('Дом Б-га').

Затем Яаков продолжил свой путь и прибыл в Харан, где встретился возле колодца со своей двоюродной сестрой Раxель. Он полюбил Рахель и договорился с ее отцом Лаваном, что отработает в его хозяйстве семь лет за то, чтобы взять ее в жены, но Лаван обманул Яакова и подменил ее старшей сестрой Леей. Тогда ему пришлось отработать еще семь лет, чтобы получить в жены также и Раxель. Лея родила ему четыреx сыновей - Реувена, Шимона, Леви и Йегуду. Раxель, подобно другим праматерям Саре и Ривке, долгое время оставалась бесплодной, и потому, позавидовав Лее, отдала Яакову свою служанку Бильгу. Бильга родила Дана и Нафтали. Продолжая соперничество с Рахелью, Лея тоже отдала Яакову свою служанку Зильпу, и та родила Гада и Ашера. Потом сама Лея родила еще Исаxара, Звулуна и дочь Дину. Наконец, Б-г благославил Раxель и она родила сына Йосефа.

Яаков решил уйти от Лавана, однако, Лаван, понимая всю выгоду, которую он получал от такого работника как Яаков, не захотел отпустить его просто так, а заключил с ним договор. Лаван попытался снова обмануть Яакова, но в результате богатство Яакова лишь возросло. Наконец, понимая, что Лаван стал завидовать его богатству и успеху, Яаков решился бежать от него со всей своей семьей в землю своих отцов, Кнаан. Лаван бросился в погоню, но получил от Б-га предостережение о том, чтобы не причинять ему вреда. Между Яаковом и Лаваном был заключен союз, и Лаван вернулся домой. Яаков же продолжил путь, на котором его ждала встреча с Эйсавом.

Беседы о Торе. Рав Ицхак Зильбер

Недельная глава “Ваеце” (“И вышел”) начинается с того, что Яаков отправляется в Харан, к Лавану-арамейцу, брату его матери Ривки, чтобы взять себе жену из его дочерей, и кончается его возвращением в родные края спустя двадцать с лишним лет с детьми, женами, слугами и стадами.

На пути к Лавану Яакову приходится заночевать. Он ложится спать в одном особом месте. И снится Яакову сон: “...вот лестница поставлена на землю, а вершина ее достигает небес; и вот ангелы Б-жьи восходят и нисходят по ней. И вот Б-г стоит над ним, и сказал Он: “Я Г-сподь, Б-г твоего отца Авраhама и Б-г Ицхака. Землю, на которой ты лежишь, тебе отдам ее и твоему потомству. И будет твое потомство, как прах земной, и распространишься ты на запад и на восток, на север и на юг, и будут благословляться тобой все племена земли, и твоим потомством. И вот Я с тобой, и буду хранить тебя везде, куда ты ни пойдешь, и возвращу тебя на эту землю. Ибо Я тебя не оставлю, пока не сделаю того, что Я говорил о тебе” (28:12-15).

Яаков дал имя тому месту “Бет-Эль” — “Дом Б-жий”(28:19).

Зачем Тора так подробно рассказывает об этом дорожном ночлеге? Потому что из текста видно, что это было пророчество во сне. Яаков сказал: “Как страшно это место!” (28:17). Мидраш объясняет, что во сне ему показали историю еврейского народа. Яаков видит: ангел, олицетворяющий Вавилон, поднимается на 70 ступеней и спускается. И это значит, что потомству Яакова предстоит вавилонское изгнание продолжительностью в 70 лет. Затем поднимается ангел, олицетворяющий Персию. Он поднимается на 52 ступени и спускается. И Яаков понимает, что столько лет его потомство будет находиться под игом Персии. На 180 ступеней поднялся ангел, олицетворяющий Грецию, и затем спустился. Так Яаков узнал, сколько лет будет господствовать над его потомками Греция. Но вот начал подниматься ангел, олицетворяющий Эдом, — на 100 ступеней, на 200, на 300, все выше — конца не видно: страшное указание на галут Эдома — римское изгнание, которое тянется до сих пор (как известно из книги Иосифа Флавия, Цфо, сын Элифаза, внук Эсава-Эдома, поселился на земле, где потом возник Рим, и многие из его потомков управляли страной).

Яаков был глубоко потрясен — да можно ли выдержать такое долгое изгнание? Вот почему сразу после слов о сне и лестнице Тора сообщает, что Б-г подтвердил: то, что Я обещал Авраhаму и Ицхаку, будет выполнено. Сказав Яакову : “И вот Я с тобой, и буду хранить тебя везде, куда ты ни пойдешь, и возвращу тебя на эту землю”. Б-г имел в виду не только Яакова, но и все его потомство, всех нас.

Рассказывается, что после этого сна “поднял Яаков ноги” (т.е. воспрянул духом, и легко ему стало идти — 29:1) и пошел в страну сынов Востока (арамейцев). Дошел до Харана и видит: колодец в поле, а вокруг — три стада овец, и колодец накрыт большим камнем. Поинтересовался Яаков, почему не дают напиться овцам, чего ждут. Ему ответили, что собравшимся не под силу сдвинуть камень. Вот сойдутся все стада, тогда пастухи скатят камень, и напоят овец, и опять закроют колодец камнем. К этому времени подошла Рахель, дочь Лавана, которая пасла овец своего отца. И Яаков приблизился к колодцу и в одиночку откатил камень, сдвинуть который могли лишь все пастухи вместе.

Зачем приведен в Торе этот эпизод? Яаков шел в Харан с грустными мыслями. Когда сватали его отца, то в подарок невесте и ее семье были посланы десять верблюдов со всяким добром, женскими украшениями. Яаков же шел жениться с пустыми руками. То, что дала ему в дорогу мать, отнял у него сын Эсава Элифаз — спасибо, что не убил. А идет он в дом, где любят деньги. И Яаков спрашивает себя: откуда придет мне помощь? И отвечает: помощь мне придет от Б-га, сотворившего небеса и землю. Не знаю как, но она придет. И тут же получил Яаков знак свыше: сидят три здоровых отдохнувших пастуха, и нет у них сил откатить камень. Яаков — усталый, с дороги, подошел и сразу же с легкостью открыл колодец. Когда Б-г захочет, у нас появляются силы, о которых мы знать не знали и мечтать не могли. (Это мне сказал благословенной памяти раби Шломо Боков из Саратова, человек, ездивший всю жизнь по Союзу делать обрезания. Он и умер в дороге — ехал в Куйбышев, чтобы сделать обрезание еще одному еврейскому мальчику.)

Пришел Лаван, обнял Яакова, поцеловал его, а сам думает: не может быть, чтобы он пришел совсем порожним! Но как ни обнимал Лаван гостя, ничего не нащупал.

Месяц жил Яаков у Лавана, ел его хлеб и пас за это его овец. И вдруг однажды Лаван заявил: “Что ж, раз ты мой брат, так и будешь работать на меня даром? Скажи мне, сколько тебе платить?” (29:15). Яаков попросил у Лавана в жены его дочь Рахель, с тем, чтобы отработать за это семь лет.

Странно — о Лаване известно, что он человек алчный, несправедливый и не выполняющий обещаний. И вдруг такой благородный порыв! С чего бы это?

Мы в Союзе получали небольшие зарплаты. И многие устраивались на мелкие должности и “подрабатывали” незаконно, т.е. попросту воровали. Этого и опасался Лаван. Неужто, думал он, мой брат (человек из нашей-то родни!) станет работать даром? Это он только говорит так, а сам наворует на три зарплаты без зазрения совести — заслужил, мол. Поэтому — “Скажи мне, сколько тебе платить?” (тогда я буду уверен, что ты не станешь красть).

Дальше в главе рассказывается о том, как Яаков отработал семь лет, и как Лаван обманул его, дав ему в жены вместо Рахели Лею, и как пришлось Яакову отработать за Рахель еще семь лет, и работал он так же честно, как в первые семь. И в эти семь лет родились у Яакова все его сыновья, кроме Биньямина, и дочь Дина.

И увидел Яаков, что озлобился на него Лаван и сыновья Лавана. И сказал Б-г Яакову: “Возвратись на землю твоих отцов и на родину твою, и Я буду с тобой” (31:3). Яаков взял своих жен, детей, все свое заработанное у Лавана имущество и тайком ушел.

Rav Yitzchak Zilber (in Russian) Rabbi Dovid Grossman