Yaacov had left Beer Sheva to Charan, when chanced upon the shepherds at the well who informed him that his cousin, Rachel, is on the way with her flock. Yaacov went on to uncover the well for her. She then brought him home to meet her father – a visit that would end up lasting 20 years. At the end of these years, Yaacov was already a wealthy man. He had married both Rachel and Leah, the daughters of Lavan, and had 11 sons. Yaacov realized that things between him and Lavan were not so good. So, he decided, with the backing of Hashem, to leave and go back home. The problem was that Lavan would never let. Therefore he moved everything without telling Lavan. After three days, Lavan had caught wind of the plan and became upset at Yaacov for leaving just like that. They finally caught up on Har Gilad, but not before Hashem warned Lavan to leave Yaacov alone.  Lavan wanted to say a proper goodbye to his children. Yaacov explained that he was afraid to say goodbye lest Lavan confiscate everything from him. Ultimately, they agreed not to cross each other’s path and they would leave each other alone.

The pasuk when describing the parting of Lavan and Yaacov states “Lavan returned to his place and Yaacov went on his journey.” 

The Meshech Chochma explains that if someone has such a holy personage, such as Yaacov, in their home even for a short time, they are affected by his greatness. That means that they soak in the ways and wisdom of the tzaddik and are able to use that as a stepping stone towards further growth. With Lavan, however, this did not happen. Lavan may have grown to greater spiritual heights while Yaacov was staying at his estate, however when they parted ways, they parted completely. Lavan went back to his place, to square one, where he was entrenched in deceit and corruption of mind and spirit.  Read the rest of this entry »