Video Dvar Torah - Parashat Yayetze: Explanation and Not Coercion


Video Dvar Torah:

Parashat Yayetze: Explanation and Not Coercion
Hashem says to Yaakov Avinu: "Return to the Land of your forefathers" (Bereshit 31:3).  Yaakov speaks with his wives, Rachel and Leah, and says: Listen, I have worked for your father with all of my might but he took advantage of me and changed my wages ten times (ibid. verse 7).  And only then does he say: Hashem appeared to me in a dream and told me to return to Eretz Yisrael (ibid. verse 13).
Why didn't Yaakov Avinu just say that Hashem told him to return, and therefore they are returning?  Why the whole introduction?
The Mishnah and Gemara in Ketubot (110b) in fact says that if a husband wants to go to Eretz Yisrael and his wife does not, she must go, or else he may divorce her without paying her Ketubah.  If the wife wants to go to Eretz Yisrael and the husband does not, he must go, or else he must divorce her and pay her the Ketubah.  Why then doesn't Yaakov Avinu simply tell his wives they are making Aliyah?
The Shelah Ha-Kadosh (Shenei Luchot Ha-Brit on the Parashah) explains that Yaakov Avinu did not want to give his wives orders and commands, even if they were Divine orders.  After all, they were going to have to leave their father, their birthplace and their house.  This is not always easy.  He therefore did not want to coerce them.  He preferred to explain.

We learn from here that one spouse should not give orders to the other, not a husband to his wife and not a wife to her husband.  Everything should be done in humility, with explanation and discussion, and not through coercion.