וַיִּקְרָ֥א יִצְחָ֛ק אֶֽל־יַעֲקֹ֖ב וַיְבָ֣רֶךְ אֹת֑וֹ וַיְצַוֵּ֙הוּ֙ וַיֹּ֣אמֶר ל֔וֹ לֹֽא־תִקַּ֥ח אִשָּׁ֖ה מִבְּנ֥וֹת כְּנָֽעַן׃
So, Isaac sent for Jacob and blessed him. He instructed him, saying, “You shall not take a wife from among the Canaanite women.
ק֥וּם לֵךְ֙ פַּדֶּ֣נָֽה אֲרָ֔ם בֵּ֥יתָה בְתוּאֵ֖ל אֲבִ֣י אִמֶּ֑ךָ וְקַח־לְךָ֤ מִשָּׁם֙ אִשָּׁ֔ה מִבְּנ֥וֹת לָבָ֖ן אֲחִ֥י אִמֶּֽךָ׃
Up, go to Paddan-aram, to the house of Bethuel, your mother’s father, and take a wife there from among the daughters of Laban, your mother’s brother.(Genesis 28:1-2)
Jacob was sixty-three years old at the time he was blessed by his father and after the blessing fled to Laban to escape the wrath of Esau his brother. However, he was 77 when he arrived at Laban’s house. In the intervening 14 years, Jacob studied in the house of Eber, the great-great-grandson of Noach, for fourteen years while in hiding from his brother Esau . Jacob devoted himself to every moment in the house of Eber to the pursuit of divine wisdom.
A key reason for studying was because Jacob knew that Laban would not be the most trustworthy father-in-law. That he would find himself in a world of deceit, idolatry, and a world that would literally be after him. It was Laban who tried to kill him on his way out to the land of Israel. (Genesis 31:23) But he also knew that he had to go to Laban and marry his daughter(s). By doing so he would have children, children who would carry on the religious traditions of the fathers . Would grow into the 12 tribes, the 12 tribes of Israel. Israel who would receive the Torah and become the light of the entire world. How important it was to come well versed in Laban’s house, that he would not be tempted by all the temptations. In short, he had to be well prepared.
Man is upright, unlike animals. Thus, the head is above the heart. The intellect is above the emotions. Or in other words, the head must control the emotions.
Many temptations arise because we follow our instincts or our emotions without thinking. However, we must use our minds and contemplate our actions, consider whether they are in line with G-d’s will, and this requires study.
Every day we enter the world, the world of temptation. It is wise to take a set time each day to prepare for the day. To think and study what G-d requires of us. So that we can direct our instincts and emotions with our mind and remain steadfast in our resolve to live in accordance with His will, to live by observing the 7 Mitzvot bnei Noach.
By Angelique Sijbolts