Chanukas Hatorah - Parshas Vayeitzei

How did Rashi know that Hashem was standing over Ya’akov in order to guard him?

(28,13) “And behold, Hashem was standing over him…”

Rashi explains that Hashem was standing over him to guard him. But how did Rashi know that this is why Hashem was standing over him?

The answer is because Rashi explained in the previous posuk concerning the angels who were ascending and descending the ladder, that first the angels who had accompanied him in Eretz Yisrael ascended to Heaven because they are not permitted to go outside of Eretz Yisrael, and then other angels descended to accompany him to Haran.

But this is problematic - since the angels who were accompanying him first ascended and only then others came down, in between Ya’akov would been left without anyone to guard him! Because of this problem Rashi knew that the reason that Hashem was standing over him was in order to guard him.

How did Ya’akov know that his vision was not just a normal dream?

(28,16) “And Ya’akov awakened from his sleep, and he said: Indeed, Hashem is in this place, and I did not know.”

We can explain the end of Ya’akov’s statement “and I did not know” according to the gemora which teaches that what a person thinks about during the day, he dreams about at night. This is why a person never dreams about an elephant going through the eye of a needle because he will never be thinking about this since it is not something real.

Now, the Midrash teaches that when Ya’akov said “Indeed, Hashem is in this place”, he meant that Hashem is certainly here, without any doubt. But how did the Midrash know this - maybe it was all a dream resulting from what he had been thinking about during the day?

This is why Ya’akov concluded “and I did not know” - since I never knew that Hashem was here I could not have been thinking about it during the day. Therefore, Hashem is certainly in this place.

Did Rochel lie to her father?

(31,35) “And she said to her father: Let my lord not be angered, for I cannot rise before you because the way of women is upon me.”

We can explain Rochel’s words according to the gemora Shabbos 82a which teaches that an idol transmits impurity to someone who carries it, like the law of a niddah. From this we see that an idol and a niddah are governed by the same law.

Now, Rochel stole the teraphim in order to stop her father from worshipping idols, but she did not wish to say an outright lie to him. Therefore she said the reason why she could not rise before him in an ambiguous fashion - “because the way of women is upon me”. She intended to mean that she was impure because she was sitting on something which made her impure like the way of women, that is, an idol. But he thought that she was simply saying that she was a niddah.

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