Posted by: mosesfromsinai | November 25, 2012

Vayeeshlach – And He Sent

In this week’s Torah reading we read the sad news of Rochel’s death while giving birth and being buried on the road to Beit Lechem.

Part of the reason for her death was that Yaakov had announced that whoever had stolen Lavan’s idols should die.  Rochel was the culprit and hid them underneath where she was sitting when Lavan came to search her tent.

Part of the reason for her not being buried with Yaakov in the Cave of Machpelah was she had given up her conjugal rights one night to Leah.  Rochel did this  for the flowers Yehuda had brought which may have had a positive affect on pregnancy.  Rochel had no kids and she was desperate to produce boys for Yaakov and be a direct mother of some of the future tribes of Israel.

In both cases, taking her father’s idols and trading for the special flowers, her intentions where good.  Yet her actions cost her to die early and forfeit burial with Yaakov in the special cave.

We are faced here with a dilemma.  This is common to all of us.  We ask ourselves should we do something or should we do nothing in a given situation.  Rochel faced the questions, “Should I take the idols from my father, Lavan” and “Should I trade for the flowers that might make me finally pregnant”.  She chose to act and was punished for each action.

We find that the Torah tells us that on many occasions we are not to stand idly by but are to take action.  How do we know what is the right path?

Rivka, when faced with confusion went to the Yeshiva of Shem to ask for an answer.  (Yes Rochel was quite a distance away from the Yeshiva and her cell phone battery was used up).  However, she did have Yaakov who had studied in the Yeshiva for many years to ask.  This was perhaps her mistake.  She should have asked the scholar at that given time for a halachic ruling.

For us, whenever we come to a crossroad we need to ask the advice of the Torah scholar.  In this way all our actions will be blessed.


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