Jacob's Covenant with God

Jacob's covenant with God teaches us that our relationships with God must not be conditional, but rather should be built on trust.

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Abraham Joshua Heschel of Opatov wrote:

Should not the reverse be true, i.e. that a day should seem to Jacob like years because of his love for Rachel?

The wording of this passage is meant to convey to us the profound spiritual nature of the love that bound Jacob and Rachel to one another. In a love based on physical desire, the lovers want the time of separation to pass quickly so that each day they are apart seems to them like a year.

But in a spiritual love, devoid of self-seeking desire, such as that of Jacob and Rachel, the lovers do not care whether the object of their affection is near or far away. The spiritual love between Jacob and Rachel had already found fulfillment, and therefore, seven years seemed to Jacob only a few days.

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Rabbi Jordan D. Cohen

Jordan D. Cohen is the rabbi of Temple Anshe Sholom in Hamilton, Ontario. Previously, he worked as Associate Director of KOLEL - The Adult Centre for Liberal Jewish Learning in Toronto, Canada. Prior to his return to Canada, Rabbi Cohen served as Rabbi of the United Jewish Congregation of Hong Kong, and Associate Rabbi of the North Shore Temple Emanuel in Sydney, Australia.