This week's parsha
Unless otherwise noted, "This week's Parsha" comprises articles taken from contributors to the Chabad.org website. We show the original author's name here, so that proper attribution is given. For the sake of brevity, footnotes cited in the original author's writings are omitted from this website. If you need to see the citations, please refer to the original articles on the Chabad.org website.
Serenity or Struggle?
We often hear that the goal of life is personal serenity. We can all relate to this. No problems, no difficulties. Every day peaceful and calm. The sun always shining. It sounds good!
"But -- wait a minute," you say. "What if a person has things to achieve in life? Can you always be calm and peaceful? Might there not be something worth struggling for, worth striving for? Isn't there something we want to achieve?"
Believe in Your Child
My nineteen-year-old son was playing soccer with his much younger cousins. Although it was three against one, my son went easy on his cousins and was down by several points. It was only when my son’s five-year-old cousin joined his team that he began to play harder for his young teammate’s sake. And by the end of the game, my son had turned the score around and won the game. The little boy went around bragging that he had won the game. Until he joined the team, his nineteen-year-old cousin was losing, and only after he joined the team their team won.
I can’t tell you how proud I was to watch my son smile and allow his little cousin to believe in himself.
Why Jacob Loved Rachel ... but also had to marry Leah
The Torah describes Rachel as having beautiful features and a beautiful complexion, and Leah as having tender eyes.
It's unusual for the Torah to spill ink illustrating the people or places mentioned. It is also unusual that Leah is (seemingly) publicly disparaged. On principle, the Torah goes out of its way to avoid unnecessary critical descriptions, and yet it openly contrasts Rachel's beauty to Leah's tender eyes. In light of this principle, the biblical commentator Rashi deduces that Leah's tender eyes allude to her incessant weeping: her eyes were red and soft from the many tears she shed. She wept in prayer, entreating G-d to shift the course of her destiny. She had been destined to marry Esau, coarse and corrupt as he was, and she prayed earnestly that her fate be changed.