This is a very sad parsha. In it, we hear about Rachel’s very hard childbirth. Nowadays, hardly any women die giving birth. But it was different in those days. Rachel struggled very hard. The baby, Benjamin, survived, but sadly, Rachel didn’t.
We can imagine Jacob’s grief at losing his beloved, although the Torah doesn’t tell us how he grieved. Instead, we learn that he left the place where she died with his twelve sons, including baby Benjamin.
Jacob (Israel) went home to his father, Isaac. Isaac eventually lived to be 180 years old. Jacob’s brother Esau and his sons, Reuben, Simon, Levi, Yehuda, Yissachar, Zebulon, Joseph, Benjamin, Dan, Naftali, Gad and Asher, buried him.
After a while, it was agreed that Esau should go off somewhere in the hill country where he could support all his livestock. Esau had so many offspring that eventually they became a nation, Edom, and had kings to rule over them.
Food for Thought
Considering how angry Esau was when Jacob cheated him, how do you think Jacob and Esau got along, living together for so many years after Jacob returned?