For some reason this Parsha always troubled me, and I had a question on it. Here is where Leah was supposed to marry Eysav, and Rachel was willing trade places with her. So to me it always seemed like Rachel was doing the wrong thing, because she was going to marry the bad guy. When I was younger it always seemed like the “bad” stuff is what we want. So I had always thought that Rachel must have wanted to marry Eisav because he was “dangerous and evil”. I had thought that you weren’t supposed to put yourself in a bad place, even if it was to “help” another.
But yes, I do realize that Rachel did a great thing by giving over the signs not to embarrass Leah. Rachel got a tremendous Zechus for this, and we always daven by her Kaver, and only she was able to save the Jews at one point.
Something to Say:
[Leah] declared, “This time let me gratefully praise Hashem”; therefore she called his name Judah (29:35).
Rashi explains Leah’s reaction to the birth of her fourth son as follows: “because I have received more than my expected share, from now on I should praise God.”
The Chiddushei HaRim comments that this was why she called her son Judah,, for the root of the name Judah means thanksgiving. This is why a Jew is called Yehudi, derived from Judah (Yehudah). Thus, the name that identifies a Jew is based upon the concept of thanksgiving, because every Jew must realize that all he or she has been given on this earth is a Divine gift. Even our name expresses the realization that everything we have is graciously bestowed upon us by God.
Now I found this very interesting, cause I had always wondered why Jews were called Yehudim. Now I realize it is because we are always thankful to Hashem for everything He has given us, because without Hashem giving, we wouldn’t be in existence.