- Written by Rabbi Dovid Sipper
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However, there was one flaw: Rachel's immense sensitivity. When Rachel realised that the codes where bound to show up her sister to be a charlatan, she selflessly divulged the secrets and the exclusivity of her marriage to Yakov fell to Leah. This phenomenal act of generosity became the trademark of Jewish caring and, ironically, the best thing Rachel could have done to serve her best interests.
As the Torah records the painful period of Rachel's childless years it states, "G-d remembered Rachel; G-d hearkened to her and he opened her womb" (Bereishis 30:22). Rashi comments that Hashem remembered her and replaced her barren status with that of a delighted mother due to her previously virtuous act of kindness to Leah.
This idea is mind-blowing! Yes, Rachel could have stuck to her rights and could have been an indirect cause of embarrassment to her sister and been the sole wife to Yakov, but where would she have been a few years down the line? Barren! Yakov would have had to marry other women in order to fulfil his personal mitzvah of having children and the national obligation of building the Jewish future, and Rachel would have been the all-round loser.
To be alive is to be examined just how far we are ready to put our own interests on hold for the sake of our family and friends. Although at the time it all seems like a sacrifice, if we live this way we not only create a better society but also provide the very best future for ourselves.
Rabbi Sipper is a close friend of ShortVort.com. Further divrei Torah from the Rov can be found on his yeshiva's website at www.ohravraham.com