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Laban

Bride-Price: The Story of Jacob’s Marriage to Rachel and Leah

To marry a woman, a man had to first pay her father a מֹהַר (mohar), “bride-price.” Although Laban allows Jacob to marry Rachel before working off his debt, she only has her first child at the end of the seven-year period.

Dr.

Kristine Henriksen Garroway

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Who Was Rebekah's Father?

“I am the daughter of Betuel the son of Milkah, whom she bore to Nahor” (Gen 24:24) – Why the unusual and cumbersome genealogical description?[1]

Dr. Rabbi

Zev Farber

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Shakespeare Plays on the Questionable Source of Jacob's Wealth

The Torah offers two explanations for how Jacob obtained great wealth at his father-in-law’s expense. Quite surprisingly, Shakespeare picked up on this narrative tension and made use of it to create the (in)famous biblically based dialogue between Shylock and Antonio in The Merchant of Venice.

Prof. Rabbi

Herbert Basser

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Arami Oved Avi: The Demonization of Laban

The rabbis translate the phrase ארמי אובד אבי in Deuteronomy 26:5 “an Aramean tried to destroy my father” and understand it as a reference to Laban, who they claim was worse than Pharaoh. But whereas the biblical Laban can be read either sympathetically or unsympathetically, he is hardly a Pharaoh-like villain, so why demonize him?

Naomi Graetz

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How Is It Possible that Jacob Mistakes Leah for Rachel?

“When morning came, there was Leah!” (Genesis 29:25). Could Jacob not tell the difference between Rachel, his beloved of seven years, and her sister Leah—for a whole night? Commentators have long tried to make sense of the story by adding extra details, but perhaps we need to rethink the nature of Jacob and Rachel’s relationship during those years.

Dr. Rabbi

Zev Farber

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