Dvar for Vayetzei (Genesis 28:10-32:1)
In this week’s Parsha, Vayetzei, we can learn an incredible lesson. The Torah relates how when Leah had her fourth son, Rachel became envious. The obvious question is why wasn’t Rachel jealous when Leah has her first three sons. As Living Each Week explains, Leah named her first three sons based on her emotions; that 1) now her husband will love her, and 2) now she won’t be disliked, and 3) now my husband will have to help me. But it is the fourth one that got to Rachel. When Leah named her son “Because now I can be grateful to G-d”, that’s when Rachel became envious. Rachel realized that she couldn’t achieve the same level of gratitude to G-d that Leah could. What an incredible virtue: To want to have a reason to thank G-d, just for the sake of thanking Him.
We have three chances a day to thank G-d through prayer, but do we? And if/when we do daven (pray), is it with enough meaning/concentration? Are we as grateful as we should be even when we DO have a reason? We can all emulate Rachel’s desire to show gratitude by studying prayers, learning about ourselves from them, and improving ourselves through them.