[Avodah] Gid ha'nasheh

Akiva Miller akivagmiller at gmail.com
Wed Dec 6 15:10:18 PST 2017

I asked:

: If he was punished, it must be that he was punished for some choice
: that he made. What choice was that? What did he do wrong? If he could
: do it all over again, what ought he do differently? Specifically:
: After having married Leah, should he have not married Rachel?

and R' Micha Berger responded:

> Well, isn't that the halakhah?

I want to publicly thank RMB for a beautiful post, and for reminding
me of some very important concepts.

We learn so much of the machinations of what went on in this incident,
how each step was important and necessary in various ways, that I was
a bit shocked to hear it suggested that Yaakov Avinu was being
punished for his choices here. But truth be told, the line between
punishment and consequence can be arbitrary, subjective .... or even

We DO accept the reality of a "necessary evil", or a "greater good".
It's not all black and white. "Well, isn't that the halakhah?" Indeed,
the halacha prescribes The Way To Go, but that is no guarantee that
there won't be unpleasant side effects. If the Kohen Gadol happens
upon a Mes Mitzvah on Yom Kippur morning, the halacha is clear that he
must get involved, even if that means that the day's avodah won't go
as planned. So too, Yaakov Avinu and Rachel Imenu married each other
because Klal Yisrael needed it, and if such a releationship was
incompatible with Kedushas Haaretz, well, unfortunately, they'll have
to endure the consequences.

Akiva Miller

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