Dvar for Vayetzei (Genesis 28:10-32:3)
In this week’s Parsha, Vayetzei, 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. How incredible a virtue! To want to have a reason to thank Hashem, just for the sake of thanking Him.
We have three chances a day to thank G-d through prayer, if we do it with enough meaning and concentration. We can all emulate Rachel’s desire to show gratitude by studying prayer, learning about ourselves from them, and improving ourselves through them.