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Parshat Va-Yetzei


This week Shabbat Mom wonders: What would Jewish peoplehood look like today if the patriarchs had used a Biblical version of J-Swipe? Their courtships were so complicated!

“Jacob loved Rachel...the daughter of his uncle Laban” and agrees, “‘I will serve you seven years for your younger daughter Rachel.’” Laban dupes Jacob into marrying his elder daughter Leah instead, she of the “weak eyes ", a Biblical diss implying she was not a looker. Laban engineers a switcheroo at the wedding by sending Leah down the aisle with a heavy veil over her face. In her twenties, when her younger sister had a serious boyfriend and she did not, Shabbat Mom had a nightmare in which her sister's boyfriend was forced to marry Shabbat Mom that way. Really.

Jacob works another 7 years so he can marry the beauteous Rachel as well. And then the baby race begins. Leah flaunts her copious fertility in poor Rachel’s face, ultimately leading to Jacob’s impregnating both women along with Rachel’s maid Bilhah (at Rachel’s behest) and Leah’s maid Zilpah (Leah’s idea). Thus Jacob fathers 12 sons and one daughter, Dinah. Rather than focus on this polygamous episode (even Rashi struggled with it!), Shabbat Mom has posted here a kitschy take on Jacob’s ladder, a mystical vision that presages the future of the Jewish people. As Jacob sleeps, dreaming of angels climbing up and down toward the heavens, the Lord tells him,

“‘...The land on which you are lying I will assign to you and to your offspring.

Your descendants shall spread as the dust of the earth;

you shall spread out to the west and to the east and to the north and the south.

All the families of the earth shall bless themselves by you and your descendants...

I will protect you wherever you go and bring you back to this land.’”

Shabbat Shalom!

Sent from my iPhone

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