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Dvar for Vayetzei (Genesis 28:10-32:1)

After Yaakov takes his family and possessions and flees the house of Lavan, Lavan catches up to him and accuses him of stealing his idols. Yaakov invites Lavan to search through the tents, and when Lavan doesn’t find anything, Yaakov becomes angry (31:36-42). The Torah takes six pessukim (verses) to itemize Yaakov’s grievances to Lavan. Why are Yaakov’s complaints recorded for us?

Lekach Tov submits that Yaakov’s rant can be instructional because it focused not on Lavan’s wrongdoings but rather on his own actions over the years. Yaakov takes this opportunity to recap and reframe his experience with Lavan in a way that justifies his wanting to leave and also disarms Lavan. We gather that this tactic is effective as Lavan’s response is in fact to form a covenant between them. Yaakov’s thoughtful redirection of Lavan’s actions is a valuable method for us to soothe tempers and minimize arguments.