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Vayeitzei: Master the Art of Silence

In what has to be the original biblical archetype for tragic love stories, Parshas Va’Yeitzei poignantly recounts how Yaakov escaped to Charan, met and fell in love with Rachel, and ultimately married Leah, her sister - working for fourteen years to finally marry them both. It is important to pause and consider the details of this story (29:10-11, 18): Yaakov’s superhuman strength in removing the stone from atop the well, his passionate and forlorn embrace upon meeting her, his unparalleled love for and desire to marry her and willingness to subject himself to fourteen years’ indentured servitude to gain her hand in marriage. All of these details are integral to understanding the Torah’s perspective on love, which requires pages of exploration in itself. Yet these details are also important in building the context in which we gain insight into the unique and incredible character of Rachel Imeinu, from whom we can learn innumerable lessons not only about love, but also about the purposeful, incredible power of silence.