Simcha's Torah Stories - Vayeitze

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Parshat Vayeitze


Daddy please tells us the story about the wedding again.

Kids, you must have heard that story ten times.

We know daddy, but it is so good.

Okay kids, here we go again.

One evening, we find two sisters at home sitting together.

Leah, your eyes are wet.

I know. I am so sorry Rachel.

Leah, dear. Whatís wrong? Why are you crying?

Oh Rachel, itís so sad.

Leah sobs softly and the two sisters embrace. Leah begins to speak.

We are both daughters of Lavan. Our Aunt Rivkah has two sons, Yaakov and Eisav. Eisav is the older son, and I am the older daughter. I know that I will marry him and you will marry Yaakov. I know that Eisav is an evil man and I do not want to marry him. That is why I am crying.

Everything will be okay, Leah. Just have faith in G-d and He will work it all out.

The story continues after Yaakov meets Rachel and the two decide they want to marry. Yaakov then asks Lavan, Rachelís father for her hand in marriage.

Lavan, I love your younger daughter Rachel and I would like to marry her. I will work for you for seven years in order to receive her hand in marriage.

Yaakov, I would much rather give her to you than to a stranger. Please come and work for me.

The years fly by due to Yaakovís great love for Rachel. As the wedding day approaches, Rachel senses trouble.

Yaakov, you know my father Lavan is a very tricky man.

What do you mean, Rachel?

There is no telling what he might do. He might even try to trick you out of my hand in marriage.

What can we do?

Let us make up secret signals between us. If Lavan tries to send another bride in my place, just ask her for the signals. If she does not know the signals, then we will expose the whole fraud.

Rachel, are you sure that we need to go to such extremes?

Yaakov, trust me.

The wedding day arrives, and Lavan gathers all of the townspeople together to celebrate the marriage of his daughter. Sure enough, he comes to Leah and informs her that she will be the bride, and not Rachel. Rachel is put on the spot. Should she let Leah go without giving her the secret signals? Then Lavanís devious plot will be exposed. But what about poor Leah? She will be so embarrassed. An unwanted bride. What a humiliation. Of course, she should give her the signals. But what about Rachel? She is finished. She will never marry her beloved Yaakov. Who knows whom she will marry? Perhaps his cruel brother Eisav. What should she do?

Leah, I am so happy for you. You are such a beautiful bride. I want to tell you something very important. When you see Yaakov make sure you give this secret signal to him.

With that, Rachel gives away her whole future to Leah. She sacrifices everything in order to avoid embarrassing her sister.

Thatís the story kids. You all know, of course, that the story had a happy ending.

Sure, Daddy. One week later Yaakov married Rachel.

Thatís right kids. For her tremendous act of self-sacrifice, G-d gave Rachel a great reward and she was able to marry her beloved Yaakov after all. What lesson do we learn from this, kids?

We learn to never, ever, ever embarrass someone.

Very good, kids. Lavan tricked Yaakov, but Rachel had a better trick. Rachel mastered the trick of self-sacrifice in order to save the other person. That is true greatness.

Simcha's Quiz

What is the closest relation that your father's sister's sister-in-law could be to you?

Answer to Last Week's Question


A camel has 3000 bananas. He wants to go over a one thousand-mile stretch of the desert. He has to eat one banana for each mile he walks. However, he can only carry 1000 bananas at a time. Waiting for him on the other side is his family. He wants to find a way to bring as many bananas to them as possible. Hint: He doesn't have to go all the way at the at once and he can leave bananas in the desert because he and his camel family are the only camels that eat bananas. Can he bring any extra bananas? - If so, how many?

The Answer!

There are a variety of answers. Technically the most is 533.333... but this is if you went an infinitesimally small distance and went back for more bananas and then back and forth until you reach the other side. I prefer the answer of going 250 miles, leaving a thousand bananas, going back and getting more. Then go to the 250 mark, go back and forth until you have all the bananas at the 250. Then take all the bananas to the 500 mile mark then 750 then to the end. This way, you end up with 500 bananas at the end.

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