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    The children of Laban – Vayyetzei

    Jacob talks with Laban, Foster Bible Pictures 1897

    Why did the children of Laban criticise their cousin Jacob, who had come to live with the family (Gen. 31:1)?

    Sforno says they were jealous of him. The Torah explains why. It says that he had become a wealthy man and the Laban family accused him of stealing some of their father’s possessions.

    Laban himself had changed his formerly friendly attitude to Jacob and, according to D’varim 26:5, no longer wanted to be kind to the young man.

    The passage in D’varim says Arami Oved Avi, which can mean, “My father was a wandering Aramean”: but the alternative translation favoured by Rashi fits into the narrative of our sidra, so that the Torah could be saying, “An Aramean (Laban) sought to kill my father”.

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