Midreshet Amit


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Honest and Communication

By: Rebecca Glaubach and Miriam Kreisler

Rashi in Parshat Vayetze gives us an underlying message to what seems like a very clear cut story. He presents us with the "real" Lavan as opposed to the super friendly and warm Lavan that greets Yaakov. We meet Lavan as he runs toward Yaakov in greeting. He seems welcoming to his nephew. But Rashi reads Lavan's excitement as his desire and expectation for gifts. Lavan remembers Eliezer when he takes Rivka to Yitzchak. He remembered all the gifts that were given and he expects the same to happen here. He sees Yaakov has arrived with nothing so he checks. According to Rashi, the hug is a pat down and the kiss a internal search to see if there were jewels in his mouth. Lavan disappointed with his lack of gifts decides to take advantage of Yaakov and make him his servant and eventually tricks him to marry his older daughter thereby receiving his ultimate gift from Yaakov.

When Yaakov accuses Lavan of tricking him, Lavan responds that in his country older and younger privileges are not easily switched around. Thereby handing Yaakov the ultimate mussar message. His taking Esav's privilege has long term ramifications. This year in Amit we focus on honesty and improving our relationships and communication with others because we realize the long term ramifications of our interactions.