Parshat Vayetze Torah Thoughts

#28 Yaakov’s Dream With the Ladder
In Chapter 28 it says
20) And Yaakov made a vow, saying: ‘If G-d (Elokim) will be with me, and will guard me on this path that I am going, and will give me bread to eat, and clothing to wear,
21) and if I return in peace to my father’s house and Hashem will be my G-d (Elokim),
22) and this stone, which I have set up for a monument, will become a house of G-d and all that You give me, I will surely give the tenth to You.’

The commentators ask are the words in pasuk 21) “and Hashem will be my G-d (Elokim)” a part of Yaakov’s request or are they a promise by him?
If this is a request, what does it mean?
If it is a promise, why should he make a promise conditional on the request he made in 21-22?

#29 Yaakov Marries 4 Wives
In Chapter 29 it says
25) And it came to pass in the morning that, behold, it was Leah; and he said to Lavan: ‘What have you done to me? did I not work with you for Rachel? Why did you deceive me?’
26) And Lavan said: ‘It is not so done in our place, to give the younger before the firstborn.’

Points on this chapter include:
Why did Yaakov choose the younger Rachel over the older Leah?
Lavan’s statement of not giving the younger before the first-born is brought down as the basis for halacha by a number of rishonim and achronim?
What the exact trickery of Lavan was is a discussed among the commentators.

#30 Birth of Tribes & Yosef

#31 Yaakov Flees from Lavan
In Chapter 31 Yaakov says:
6) You know I served your father with all my strength.

The Rambam, the Tur and the Shulchan Aruch learn directly from this Pasuk and not from a Chazal in the Gemora that one has an obligation to work for his employer will all his might.

In Chapter 31 it says:
19) Now Lavan was gone to shear his sheep. And Rachel stole the teraphim that were her father’s.
20) And Yaakov stole the heart of Lavan the Aramean, by not telling him that he had fled.

The commentators question why Rachel stole the teraphim and what they were.
The commentators are also bothered by the use of the term “stole the heart. Should Yaakov have told Lavan he was fleeing? And if he didn’t tell him, was that “stealing the heart”?

(See Studies in the Weekly Parsha by Yehuda Nachsoni for more discussion of these points.)