Parsha Vayetzei – Chapter 30 – Verse 16-21
Rosh Chodesh Shevat
Yaakov came from watching Lavan's sheep. Leah goes to greet him and says you come to me, as I made a deal and I paid for you in exchange for the dudaim. He laid with her that night and Hashem himself helped them and that night Leah became pregnant and later gave Yaakov her 5th son (and his 9th) son, Issachar (יִשָּׂשכָר) In Hebrew, Issachar means either “man of reward” or “hired man.” His name is associated with the circumstances of his birth.
Zebulun (זְבוּלוּן) was the 6th son of Jacob by his wife Leah and the 10th of all Yaakov's sons. Leah said, “Hashem has endowed (zabad) me with a good gift (zebed), now my husband will dwell (zabal)with me, because I have borne him six sons”. The name Zebulun means “dwell” (also translated “honor”) and sounds much like the Hebrew words for “gift” and “endowed.”
At this point, Leah made a calculation. She knew through ruach ha Kodesh that there would be 12 tribes. She already had 6 sons, her 2 maid servants each had 2 sons, while Rachel had no children. She realized that her sister would feel short changed and embarrassed if she had another son.
Leah was already pregnant again, and so she davened to Hashem to help Rachel, and to make her child inside her womb a girl., as she had such compassion for her sister. (Everything Leah received was through her tremendous power of tefillah (prayers) to Hashem.) Hashem did have mercy and changed the sex of Leah's child to be female, and she gave birth to Dinah. Hashem then blessed Rachel and she gave birth to Yosef (יוֹסֵף). His name translates to “he will add.” Yosef was Yaakov's 11th son.
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