“Now Jacob heard that he had defiled Dinah his daughter.”
~ Genesis 32:23
Jacob’s only daughter, Dinah, gets abducted and violated by a Canaanite prince.
The Rabbi’s teach this was Jacob’s quid-pro-quo punishment for hiding her from his brother Esau, thereby ensuring he wouldn’t marry her.
Esau was a bad man – so what did Jacob do wrong?
He denied Esau spiritual growth. Dina could’ve done what even Esau’s parents, Isaac and Rebbeca couldn’t – change Esau for the better. And they were prophets!
There is no stronger transformative power then a wise wife.
“And Jacob said to his brothers: ‘Gather stones’.”
~ Genesis 31:46
It’s disrespectful to instruct those who aren’t obligated or obliged to obey. So when Jacob gives this command, we know he’s speaking to his sons.
Yet the verse refers to them as his brothers – why?
A brother is born from the same parents or from the same problem. When someone supports you in a time of need, they’re being a brother in the true sense.
You can’t choose your family, but you can choose your role in all your relationships.
“The children agitated within her.”
~ Genesis 23:17
After decades of infertility, Rebecca conceives twins. In-utero the foetuses were already destined to their respective life-paths, with Esau getting excited whenever Rebecca passed a house of idolatry and Jacob whenever she passed a Torah Academy.
But if their moral fibre was already cemented before birth, where was their freewill?
Their freewill wasn’t expressed in the raw material they were gifted with, but what they built from it.
To reach your potential – don’t order take-away – cook what’s in the fridge.
“And Ephron’s field stood up.”
~ Genesis 23:17
After a lengthy dose of Middle-Eastern trade-negotiations, Abraham secured a burial site for his wife.
When they exchange, we’re told that the field ‘stood up’. What does that mean?!
It means the field had been elevated.
Leaving the possession of a commoner for a king, and thereby going from a farmer’s plot to the final resting place of the founding partners of the Jewish Nation – its value drastically increased.
Forget location – real estate value is defined by personal greatness.