Thursday, November 30, 2006

Yaakov kissing Rachel

In this weeks parsha the first thing Yaakov does when he meets Rachel is kiss her and start to cry. This has always bothered me. Why did Yaakov kiss Rachel? What is the Torah trying to teach us? How could he do that?

Here is what I found in the Mefrashim on Chumash, and quite frankly these interpretations raise more questions then they answer.

The Medrash Rabba writes that Yaakov cried because the people around suspected him of pritzus for kissing Rachel. The seforno quotes this medrash and adds that this is the reason why Yaakov right away told Rachel that he was related to her so that she too wouldn't be choshed him of pritzus. The Netziv says a similar pshat on his own, he says that Yaakov cried to show Rachel that the kiss was because she was his relative and was not for lustful purposes. The question still remains why did he do it when it was an act that could clearly be badly misinterpreted?

Rabbenu Bachya offers 2 explanations, either Rachel was under 3 or that he kissed her hand or forehead and not her lips. This is clearly against the medrash which states that his action was misinterpreted as one of pritzus. In any case, where does R' Bachya get this idea that she was under 3?

What is most interesting is that in today's Charedi society this could never happen. Men and women mingling and talking at the well??? There would be a mehadrin well with different times for men and women or 2 separate mehadrin wells 1 for men and 1 for women so that they chas v'shalom shouldn't mingle.

Any suggestions are appreciated.


daat y said...

There was a song 'a kiss is just a kiss'.-not pritzus.
Shlomo Carlebach said the first kiss in the Torah is from Yitzchak to Yaakov.And that kiss was then transfered to Rachel.
Or ever hear 'of love at first sight'.Yaakov is human and this was pre-matan Torah.

Frummer????? said...

See also here:

Ch. 29, v. 11: "Va'yishak Yaakov l'Rochel va'yiso es kolo va'yeivk" - Why did Yaakov cry so loudly? This is because he saw that in the future coarse-minded people would incorrectly interpret his kissing Rochel as an act of passion. (Rabbi Shmuel Yaakov haKohein Traube shlit"a)

and here:

and one final one:

Sorry! I don't have the time to do the tags properly. You'll have to cut and paste!

BTW, Jewish Worker, keep up the good work!!!!!