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Vayetze

And it was, in the morning, that behold it was Leah! So he said to Lavan, "What is this you have done to me? Was it not for Rachel that I worked for you? Why have you deceived me?" (Bereishis 29:25).

The Sages teach us that Rachel suspected that her father would give her older sister, Leah, to Ya'akov instead of her. Therefore, she and Ya'akov devised a scheme by which he would know who it really was he was marrying. But Rachel had misgivings when she realized that her sister would be embarrassed when she would be caught red handed. Consequently, she revealed the secret to her.

We can very well imagine how difficult this was for Rachel. She wanted Ya'akov so much and she did not know that he would demand that her father give him both sisters. She surely thought that she would lose him forever and have to marry Eisav. Yet, she sacrificed it all in order that Leah not feel uncomfortable.

Rabbi Yitzchak Zilberstein shlita related the following story.

A couple gave birth to a son and intended to name him Yehonosson, after the mother's deceased father. However, the day before the bris, another child in the same apartment building, by the same name, suddenly passed away R.l. The parents were concerned about giving the same name to their baby and they went to consult with the revered Gaon, Harav Shlomo Zalman Auerbach ztvk"l. Sure enough, he told them absolutely not to name their child by that name.

When they had left, Rabbi Lazerson asked the Rav why he had forbidden it. It seemed to him like some kind of superstition.

The kindly rabbi responded, "I did not say no out of fear for the baby. I was thinking of the despondent mother of the child who died. Imagine, in a few years from now, how she would feel every time she would hear this woman calling, 'Yehonosson, come in and eat something.' Every time she would hear the name, she would grieve anew.

As far as honoring the father whose name they had wanted to give to the baby; the greatest honor they can give him is not to cause anguish to someone else!"


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