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Sunday, December 03, 2006

Yaacov led astray by his infatuation with Rochel

infatuation n. A foolish, unreasoning, or extravagant passion or attraction. An object of extravagant, short-lived passion.

The title of this blog post, "Yaacov led astray by his infatuation with Rochel", is my blurb describing a recent Vayetzeh dvar Torah, "Choosing a Wife - Did Yaakov Get It Right?" (11/27/2006) by YCT musmach Rabbi Zev Farber. I believe my title accurately distills that dvar Torah, using contextually correct verbiage from the dvar Torah. The ultra-humanization of the Avos is a style of divrei Torah that is prevalent and acceptable by left-wing Modern Orthodox adherents. However, it is quite revolting by right-wing Orthodox standards. Here is an excerpt from the dvar Torah that evokes that dichotomous response:
An even deeper look reveals that Yaakov’s infatuation with Rachel and her beauty, leads him not only to favor her over her sister, but most probably carries over into his infamous favoring of Yosef and Binyamin over his other children, almost leading to a permanent rift in his family.

If Yaakov had followed the example of Avraham’s servant, and chosen personality criteria as opposed to physical ones, perhaps the story of Bereishit would have gone differently, avoiding much of the tragedy and pain our ancestors suffer throughout the Joseph narrative. Would Yaakov have chosen Leah?

Would he have married both of his own accord? It is impossible to know the answer to such questions.

Nevertheless, it would seem that the Torah is unfavorably comparing Yaakov’s process of choosing a wife with that of the servant of Avraham. Perhaps this can be a lesson to us all. If one of our forefathers [Yaacov] could be led astray by external criteria at such a momentous occasion [marriage], we must articulate our own values before we undertake those decisions that may set the course of our lives.

Related links:
- Stressful God of "tension" and "anxiety"
- Raiders of the Lost Dvar Torah

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