14 Jun 2006

One of the “Imahot,” “Founding Mothers” of the Jewish People; younger sister of Leah, daughter of Lavan, beloved wife of Yaakov. In one of the very few instances where romance is described outside of Shir HaShirim. We find “And Yaakov kissed Rachel…” (Bereshit 29:11) and “And Yaakov loved Rachel, and he said, ‘I will work for you for seven years for Rachel, your younger daughter.’ ” (Bereshit 29:18) and “And Yaakov worked for Lavan for seven years, and they were as just a few days, so great was his love.”

Rachel was barren for many years, but when Hashem finally opened her womb, she bore “Yoseph the Righteous,” so called because of his resistance, with all his might, to the attempted seduction by the wife of Potiphar, “And he refused, …And he said, ‘And how could I do such a terrible wrong as this, and I would sin against the L-rd.” (Bereshit 39: 8-9) Yoseph didn’t learn these standards of morality by himself. He was trained to them by his father and mother.