Thursday, November 15, 2007

VaYeitzie - Yamim Achadim

Yaakov worked for Rochel for seven years. And the Torah tells us that these years were like a few days in his eyes. Why did it seem like a short amount of time, if he loved her so much? Shouldn’t it have seemed like a very long time?

Here are several answers to the question. They are listed in order of preference from my least to most favorite.

1. A man from a religious Zionist kibbutz suggested that when the pasuk says that it seemed like days because he loved her, the love refers to work, rather than to Rochel. When you love your work, time flies.

2. The most famous answer is that Yaakov was focused on spiritual matters. He wanted to marry Rochel because of his spiritual vision and was patient due to perspective. Impatience comes when we await something in a material manner.

3. The Alshich notes that the Torah doesn’t state when it seemed like a short time in his eyes. He explains that it wasn’t while it was going on, but it was right after he married Rochel that it all seemed worth it, looking back. Anyone who has waited for something and finally gotten it knows the wisdom of this explanation.

4. Rabbi Abraham Twerski notes that it says that these days were in his eyes as “Yamim Achadim”. This does not translate as “few days” but as “individual days”. The way Yaakov got through it was by taking it one day at a time.

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