Vayetzei: A Broken Family

Coffee Shop Rabbi

Image: A pile of stones. Photo by Mathias_Beckmann/Pixabay.

Towards the end of Parashat Vayetzei, after the drama between Jacob and Laban has played itself out, we find an account of a treaty between the two men.

They don’t like one another. Each believes himself to have been cheated by the other. Laban tricked Jacob into marrying Leah, then got seven more years of labor from him to earn the hand of Rachel. Then Jacob, angry at his father-in-law, used trickery to enrich himself by means of Laban’s flocks. Laban resents it, believing Jacob’s wealth is stolen from his pocket.

Both men see themselves as the victim of a cheating scoundrel.

Finally, Jacob sneaks away with his wives, his household, and his flocks, and Laban follows in hot pursuit. He whines that Jacob crept away secretly, robbing him even of a chance to say goodbye to his daughters, even robbing him…

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