Parsha VII.iv

30,14 And Reuben went in the days
of wheat harvest, and found mandrakes* in the field, and brought them unto his
mother Leah. Then Rachel said to Leah: ‘Give me, I pray thee, of thy son’s
mandrakes.’ 30,15 And she said unto her: ‘Is it a small matter that thou hast
taken away my husband? and wouldest thou take away my son’s mandrakes also?’ And
Rachel said: ‘Therefore he shall lie with thee to-night for thy son’s
mandrakes.’ 30,16 And Jacob came from the field in the evening, and Leah went
out to meet him, and said: ‘Thou must come in unto me; for I have surely hired
thee with my son’s mandrakes.’ And he lay with her that night. 30,17 And God
hearkened unto Leah, and she conceived, and bore Jacob a fifth son. 30,18 And
Leah said: ‘God hath given me my hire, because I gave my handmaid to my husband.
And she called his name Issachar. 30,19 And Leah conceived again, and bore a
sixth son to Jacob. 30,20 And Leah said: ‘God hath endowed me with a good dowry;
now will my husband dwell with me, because I have borne him six sons.’ And she
called his name Zebulun. 30,21 And afterwards she bore a daughter, and called
her name Dinah. 30,22 And God remembered Rachel, and God hearkened to her, and
opened her womb. 30,23 And she conceived, and bore a son, and said: ‘God hath
taken away my reproach.’ 30,24 And she called his name Joseph, saying: ‘The LORD
add to me another son.’ 30,25 And it came to pass, when Rachel had borne Joseph,
that Jacob said unto Laban: ‘Send me away, that I may go unto mine own place,
and to my country. 30,26 Give me my wives and my children for whom I have served
thee, and let me go; for thou knowest my service wherewith I have served thee.’
30,27 And Laban said unto him: ‘If now I have found favour in thine eyes–I have
observed the signs, and the LORD hath blessed me for thy sake.’
* used as a fertility drug

The Prophets: Judges 21 “One tribe lacking in Israel”

[last Judge, Next: 1 Samuel]

Judges Chapter 21

1 Now the men of Israel had sworn in Mizpah, saying: ‘There shall not any of us give his daughter unto Benjamin to wife.’ 2 And the people came to Beth-el, and sat there till even before God, and lifted up their voices, and wept sore. 3 And they said: ‘O LORD, the God of Israel, why is this come to pass in Israel, that there should be to-day one tribe lacking in Israel?’ 4 And it came to pass on the morrow that the people rose early, and built there an altar, and offered burnt-offerings and peace-offerings. {P}
5 And the children of Israel said: ‘Who is there among all the tribes of Israel that came not up in the assembly unto the LORD?’ For they had made a great oath concerning him that came not up unto the LORD to Mizpah, saying: ‘He shall surely be put to death.’ 6 And the children of Israel repented them for Benjamin their brother, and said: ‘There is one tribe cut off from Israel this day. 7 How shall we do for wives for them that remain, seeing we have sworn by the LORD that we will not give them of our daughters to wives?’ 8 And they said: ‘What one is there of the tribes of Israel that came not up unto the LORD to Mizpah?’ And, behold, there came none to the camp from Jabesh-gilead to the assembly. 9 For when the people were numbered, behold, there were none of the inhabitants of Jabesh-gilead there. 10 And the congregation sent thither twelve thousand men of the valiantest, and commanded them, saying: ‘Go and smite the inhabitants of Jabesh-gilead with the edge of the sword, with the women and the little ones. 11 And this is the thing that ye shall do: ye shall utterly destroy every male, and every woman that hath lain by man.’ 12 And they found among the inhabitants of Jabesh-gilead four hundred young virgins, that had not known man by lying with him; and they brought them unto the camp to Shiloh, which is in the land of Canaan. {P}
13 And the whole congregation sent and spoke to the children of Benjamin that were in the rock of Rimmon, and proclaimed peace unto them. 14 And Benjamin returned at that time; and they gave them the women whom they had saved alive of the women of Jabesh-gilead; and yet so they sufficed them not. 15 And the people repented them for Benjamin, because that the LORD had made a breach in the tribes of Israel. 16 Then the elders of the congregation said: ‘How shall we do for wives for them that remain, seeing the women are destroyed out of Benjamin?’ 17 And they said: ‘They that are escaped must be as an inheritance for Benjamin, that a tribe be not blotted out from Israel. 18 Howbeit we may not give them wives of our daughters.’ For the children of Israel had sworn, saying: ‘Cursed be he that giveth a wife to Benjamin.’ {S} 19 And they said: ‘Behold, there is the feast of the LORD from year to year in Shiloh, which is on the north of Beth-el, on the east side of the highway that goeth up from Beth-el to Shechem, and on the south of Lebonah.’ 20 And they commanded the children of Benjamin, saying: ‘Go and lie in wait in the vineyards; 21 and see, and, behold, if the daughters of Shiloh come out to dance in the dances, then come ye out of the vineyards, and catch you every man his wife of the daughters of Shiloh, and go to the land of Benjamin. 22 And it shall be, when their fathers or their brethren come to strive with us, that we will say unto them: Grant them graciously unto us; because we took not for each man of them his wife in battle; neither did ye give them unto them, that ye should now be guilty.’ {S} 23 And the children of Benjamin did so, and took them wives, according to their number, of them that danced, whom they carried off; and they went and returned unto their inheritance, and built the cities, and dwelt in them. 24 And the children of Israel departed thence at that time, every man to his tribe and to his family, and they went out from thence every man to his inheritance. {P}
25 In those days there was no king in Israel; every man did that which was right in his own eyes. {P}

Parsha VII.iii “They seemed unto him but a few days”

29,18 And Jacob loved
Rachel; and he said: ‘I will serve thee seven years for Rachel thy younger
daughter.’ 29,19 And Laban said: ‘It is better that I give her to thee, than
that I should give her to another man; abide with me.’ 29,20 And Jacob served
seven years for Rachel; and they seemed unto him but a few days, for the love he
had to her. 29,21 And Jacob said unto Laban: ‘Give me my wife, for my days are
filled, that I may go in unto her.’ 29,22 And Laban gathered together all the
men of the place, and made a feast. 29,23 And it came to pass in the evening,
that he took Leah his daughter, and brought her to him; and he went in unto her.
29,24 And Laban gave Zilpah his handmaid unto his daughter Leah for a handmaid.
29,25 And it came to pass in the morning that, behold, it was Leah; and he said
to Laban: ‘What is this thou hast done unto me? did not I serve with thee for
Rachel? wherefore then hast thou beguiled me?’ 29,26 And Laban said: ‘It is not
so done in our place, to give the younger before the first-born. 29,27 Fulfil
the week of this one, and we will give thee the other also for the service which
thou shalt serve with me yet seven other years.’ 29,28 And Jacob did so, and
fulfilled her week; and he gave him Rachel his daughter to wife. 29,29 And Laban
gave to Rachel his daughter Bilhah his handmaid to be her handmaid. 29,30 And he
went in also unto Rachel, and he loved Rachel more than Leah, and served with
him yet seven other years. 29,31 And the LORD saw that Leah was hated, and he
opened her womb; but Rachel was barren. 29,32 And Leah conceived, and bore a
son, and she called his name Reuben; for she said: ‘Because the LORD hath looked
upon my affliction; for now my husband will love me.’ 29,33 And she conceived
again, and bore a son; and said: ‘Because the LORD hath heard that I am hated,
He hath therefore given me this son also.’ And she called his name Simeon. 29,34
And she conceived again, and bore a son; and said: ‘Now this time will my
husband be joined unto me, because I have borne him three sons.’ Therefore was
his name called Levi. 29,35 And she conceived again, and bore a son; and she
said: ‘This time will I praise the LORD.’ Therefore she called his name Judah;
and she left off bearing. 30,1 And when Rachel saw that she bore Jacob no
children, Rachel envied her sister; and she said unto Jacob: ‘Give me children,
or else I die.’ 30,2 And Jacob’s anger was kindled against Rachel; and he said:
‘Am I in God’s stead, who hath withheld from thee the fruit of the womb?’ 30,3
And she said: ‘Behold my maid Bilhah, go in unto her; that she may bear upon my
knees, and I also may be builded up through her.’ 30,4 And she gave him Bilhah
her handmaid to wife; and Jacob went in unto her. 30,5 And Bilhah conceived, and
bore Jacob a son. 30,6 And Rachel said: ‘God hath judged me, and hath also heard
my voice, and hath given me a son.’ Therefore called she his name Dan. 30,7 And
Bilhah Rachel’s handmaid conceived again, and bore Jacob a second son. 30,8 And
Rachel said: ‘With mighty wrestlings have I wrestled with my sister, and have
prevailed.’ And she called his name Naphtali. 30,9 When Leah saw that she had
left off bearing, she took Zilpah her handmaid, and gave her to Jacob to wife.
30,10 And Zilpah Leah’s handmaid bore Jacob a son. 30,11 And Leah said: ‘Fortune
is come!’ And she called his name Gad. 30,12 And Zilpah Leah’s handmaid bore
Jacob a second son. 30,13 And Leah said: ‘Happy am I! for the daughters will
call me happy.’ And she called his name Asher.


I remember the first summer we were apart. I dreaded it coming. I t was like the end of the world. And it seemed to last an eternity. Time suspended. Time irrelevant.