Posted on March 23, 2011
by Hadar Schwartz
In Parashat Vayetze, Jacob falls in love with Rachel. He works seven long years to win the approval of her father and his uncle (weird Biblical family tree), Laban. Then, after all of that hard work, Jacob is tricked into marrying Rachel’s sister, Leah, whom he does not love. Only after working another seven years is Jacob finally given permission to marry Rachel.
Though I often choose to refute the lessons I learned about Bereshit as an elementary school student, this week, I am revisiting what I earlier learned about this narrative. Jacob works fourteen years for one woman (though our narrative doesn’t tell us the time frame of the story, Jacob probably spent less time being married to Rachel than working to marry her). Jacob’s passion and drive, though perhaps slightly pathetic at first glance, are admirable. Jacob works and works for one goal and when he finally achieves that goal, the narrative does not even attempt to capture his emotions.
As a high school senior, I seem to be connecting to Jacob even more than usual. I’m sure everyone else is as well. School work and life in general can be a lot of work and very tiring. The amount of work put in does not always seem to equal the result (no, I am not taking Physics). However, even if the goal seems unattainable and so far off, if you work hard enough and believe, perhaps it can come true. So, as I return to the many more hours of homework I have to complete, I am believing, as I’m sure everyone else is, that I will get a good pay off. I mean, Jacob had two wives in the end. Maybe, just maybe, the one ‘A’ that all of us will earn (hopefully) will actually be two ‘As.’ Hey, earlier in the narrative Jacob has a dream. Just thought I’d learn once again from Jacob’s actions.