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Fleeing from Esav, Yaakov
leaves Be'er Sheva and sets out
towards Charan, the home of his mother's family. After a fourteen year
stopover in the Yeshiva of Shem and Ever, he resumes his journey
and comes to Mount Moriah, the place where his father Yitzchak was
brought as an offering, and the future site of the Beis Hamikdash.
He lays down to sleep and has a prophetic dream of angels ascending
and descending a ladder between heaven and earth. G-d promises
him the Land of Israel, that he will found a great nation and that he will
be guarded by Divine protection everywhere. Yaakov awakes and vows
to build an altar there and tithe all that he will receive.
Then he travels to Charan and meets his cousin Rachel at the well.
He arranges with her father, Lavan, to work seven years for her hand
in marriage, but Lavan deceives Yaakov and substitutes Rachel's
elder sister, Leah. Yaakov commits himself to work another seven
years in order to also marry Rachel. Leah bears him four sons:
Reuven, Shimon, Levi and Yehuda - the first Tribes of Israel.
Rachel is jealous that she cannot conceive, and gives her
handmaiden Bilhah to Yaakov. Bilhah bears Dan and Naftali.
Leah also gives Yaakov her handmaiden Zilpah, who bears Gad
and Asher. Leah now gives birth to Yissachar, Zevulun, and a daughter,
Dina. G-d finally blesses Rachel with a son, Yosef.
Yaakov decides to leave Lavan, but Lavan, aware of the wealth
Yaakov has made for him, is reluctant to let him go, and
concludes a contract of employment with him. Lavan tries again
to swindle Yaakov but is unsuccessful, and Yaakov becomes
extremely wealthy. Six years later, Yaakov, aware that Lavan
has become resentful of his wealth, takes advantage of his
father-in-law's temporary absence and flees with his family.
Lavan pursues them but is warned by G-d not to harm them.
Yaakov and Lavan agree to a covenant and Lavan returns home.
Yaakov continues on his way to face his brother Esav.