- Rabbi Yitzchak Etshalom
- Duration: 28 min
The "Duda'im" Story: A Janus Narrative?
- 37 min 54 sec
In the midst of the "birth narrative" of Yaakov's family in Haran, the Torah interjects a brief story about Reuven's collecting דודאים (mandrakes) and bringing them to Leah, his mother. Rachel desires them and agrees to give up her night of intimacy with Yaakov in order to get these valuable (?) flowers. The narrative is odd on the face of it, and there are several textual nuances that catch our attention - and redirect that attention back to an earlier narrative in Yaakov's life in which he plays an active role - and a later event in Rachel's life which proves to be fateful for her and for the family. The brief story of the דודאים reflects back and forward, providing added insight into two other narratives in the story of Yaakov's family.