What is the significance of HaShem making promises to an unconscious , sleeping Yaakov?
Why did HaShem allow Yitzchak to be duped by Rivkah and Yaakov to be deceived by Leah?
Why does our mystical tradition refer to Rachel as the “revealed world” and to Leah as “the hidden world?
Yitzchak summoned Yaakov, bestowed a blessing on him and commanded him “Do not marry a Canaanite girl”.
— Bereishis 28:1
Yaakov left Beersheba and headed toward Charan … taking some stones he placed them about his head and lay down to sleep there … Suddenly [he observed] HaShem Standing over him … [HaShem said] I am with you. I will Safeguard you howsoever you go.
— Bereishis 28:10,11,13,15
HaShem Elokim said “it is not good for man to be alone. I will Make him a challenging helper.”
— Bereishis 12:18
Rav Yehudah said in the name of Rav: “Forty days before the formation of an embryo, a Bas Kol-Echo of the Divine Voice; emanates and proclaims, The daughter of A is destined for B.’”
— Sotah 2A
House and riches are the legacy of fathers; but a sensible wife is from HaShem.
— Mishlei 19:14
We see from all segments of the tripartite Torah that the match between a woman and a man is from HaShem[‘s Divine Providence.]
— Moed Katan 18B
There are those who must go after their mates and others whose mates come to them. Yitzchak’s mate came to him, as it is written “(He raised his eyes) and beheld camels coming [transporting his bride Rivkah.] (Bereishis 24:63)” Yaakov went after his mate, as it is written “Yaakov left Beersheba … (Bereishis 28:10) “
— Bereishis Rabbah 68:3
Yaakov loved Rachel and said [to Lavan] “I will work for seven years for Rachel your younger daughter.” … In the evening he [Lavan] took his daughter Leah to Yaakov who consummated the marriage with her … In the morning discovering that she was Leah [not Rachel] he said to Lavan “How could you do this to me? Didn’t I labor with you for Rachel[‘s hand in marriage]? Why did you cheat me?
— Bereishis 29: 18, 23,25
A reasonable argument can be made that THE greatest enigma in all of Jewish thought is the conundrum of Yediah u’bechirah-HaShem’s perfect infallible Foreknowledge vs. human free-will. But spinning off of this supreme enigma there are many sub-riddles and mysteries e.g. the particular Providential involvement that our sages ascribe to one’s destined marriage partner. Another example are narratives, both scriptural and personal, of “all’s well that ends well.” There are times when what we think, say or do seems to be thoughtless, ethically neutral or even contrary to the Divine Will. However when later chapters of these biographies are written by the Divine Author, with the passage of time and with the clarity of 20/20 hindsight, we realize that, in truth, what we thought, said or did carried a positive ethical charge and was consistent with the Divine Will.
Our sages divide the Providential involvement in matching men with their destined marriage partners into two broad categories: those who must go after their mates and those whose mates come to them.
The Bais Yaakov, the second Izhbitzer, explains that when the Divine Will ordained the creation of woman as a helper to man that, this help too, would manifest itself in two different ways: There are times when a man is proactive in the pursuit of a woman and chooses a mate based on what his rationale, and the rationale of his heart, dictate. He marries a woman in whom heperceives the qualities that will aid him in his life’s work and mission. Such men are among those “who must go after their mates.”
Then there are men whose mates are not at all in accordance with what would naturally be assumed or expected. They come to their husbands without the latter having invested any intellectual, spiritual or emotional capital in determining whether or not they would “make sense” as a married couple. HaShem sends this woman to this man in ways that are counterintuitive and that, at first, seem to thwart both the Divine Will and hinder or delay the achievement of the husband’s goals.