Parashat Vayetze

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Provided by the Pardes Institute of Jewish Studies, exploring Torah through the original sources.

Questions

1. When Isaac left Beersheva, to which city did he head?

2. What do we already know about Haran?

3. What was the name of the place where Isaac had his dream and what did he call it?

4. This week's parasha begins and ends with an event that is very similar. Like a sandwich, in the middle we have the story about Jacob, his wives, children, and his relationship with Laban. What similar thing happened at the beginning and end of the parasha?

5. What vow did Isaac make after his dream and under what conditions did he agree to fulfill it?

6. Laban was Rebekah's brother. Who was their father?

7. Sarah and Rachel had a common problem? What was it and how did they solve it? By whom?

8. What did Rachel name her first child, and what did his name mean?

9. Reuben went into the field and found what for his mother? What is a mandrake?

10. Rachel asked Leah if she would give her some of the mandrakes. What was Leah's response? What did Rachel give Leah for the mandrakes?

11. How many sons did Rachel conceive? How many through Bilhah? What were the names of Rachel's four sons?

12. When Jacob left Haran with his family and all his possessions, Laban chased after him and said that someone had stolen his idols. What did Yaakov say would happen to the person on whom the gods would be found?

13. Laban and Jacob made a covenant. What was it and what did it really mean?

Answers

1. Isaac went to Haran (28:10).

2.  We know that Abraham lived in Haran According to the Nahmonides, Nahor, the place where Eliezer also found Rebekah is in the same geographical location as Haran (24: 10-15).

3. Isaac had his dream in Luz, and he called it Beit El (28:19).
4. Jacob built a monument to God (28:18, 31:52).  

5. Isaac made the vow that if God would make him prosper, he would pledge to God a tenth of all he was given (28:20-22).

6.  Bethuel was Rebekah and Laban's father (24:24).

7. Sara and Rachel were not able to bear children. They had Abraham and Isaac produce children for them through Hagar and Bilhah (30:1-5).

8. Rachel named her first child Dan. Rachel said G-d has judged me and given me a son, the word dan means judge (30:6).

9. Reuben went out into the field to find mandrakes; a mandrake is a fruit that was thought to be a love-charm (30:14).

10.  Leah responded "Is it a small matter that thou hast taken away my husband, and would thou take away my son's mandrakes also? (30:15)" Rachel told Leah that she could sleep with Yaakov that night (30:15).

11. Rachel conceived two sons herself and two through Bilhah. The names of her four sons were Dan, Naphtali, Joseph, and Benjamin (30:5, 8, 24, 25).

12. Isaac said the person who was found with the idols would be put to death (31:32).

13. Jacob had made a big pile of stones. They agreed that neither of them would cross over those stones. In other words, it served as a separation between them that prevented either from attacking the other (31:51-52).

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