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Daily Aliya for Vayetzei, Chamishi (5th Aliya)

Aliya Summary: “Specify your wages,” Lavan told Jacob. “And I will give it!” Jacob proposed that all the streaked and spotted sheep that would be born to Lavan’s sheep would constitute his payment. In return, Jacob would continue caring for Lavan’s flocks. Lavan immediately removed all the existing spotted and streaked sheep from the herd and put them under his sons’ charge—thus differentiating between the current ones, which belonged to Lavan, and the to-be-born ones, that would belong to Jacob. Jacob made striped poles for the strong and robust sheep to view while they were mating. As a result, the sheep gave birth to striped offspring, and Jacob became fabulously wealthy—despite Lavan’s deceptive practices, and his continual changing of the terms of Jacob’s pay. After an additional six years of service, G‑d commanded Jacob to return to Canaan. Jacob summoned his wives, who agreed that the time has arrived to leave.

So Lavan tries to take all of Yakov’s possessions by renegotiating their agreement, Yakov ends up with a massive flock despite Lavan’s best efforts, Yakov sees in Lavan’s face that something has changed and his welcome has officially worn out, G-d tells him to leave, and he still finds it necessary to call Rachel and Leah for a private conference in the field, explains his reasons for wanting to leave, and doesn’t decide until they both give him permission to do as G-d says. If ever there’s a model for treating a spouse with respect, Yakov would be it!