8th of Elul, 5774
Parashat Ki Teitzei


Leah

לֵאָה

Leah
Quick Facts
Father Laban
Mother Unknown
Sister Rachel
Husband Jacob
Sons Reuben, Simeon, Levi, Judah, Zebulun, Issachar
Daughter Dinah
Adopted Sons Gad and Asher (from her handmaid Zilpah)

First wife of Jacob. Rachel’s older sister.

Mother of six of the Twelve Tribes of Israel (Reuben, Simeon, Levi, Judah, Zebulun, Issachar) and adoptive mother to two others (Gad and Asher).

Leah becomes Jacob’s wife through a trick by her father Laban. Jacob wants to marry her sister Rachel. Laban switches Leah for Rachel. Later Laban claims that it is against custom to give the younger daughter away in marriage before the older one (Genesis 29:16-30). Laban offers to give Rachel to Jacob in marriage in return for another seven years of work (Genesis 29:27). Jacob accepts the offer and marries Rachel after the week-long celebration of his marriage to Leah.

Leah’s firstborn son Reuben returns from the field with mandrakes for his mother. Leah has not had a child for a while, and this plant is thought to be an aid to fertility. Frustrated that she is not able to conceive at all, Rachel offers to trade her night with their husband in return for the mandrakes. Leah agrees, and that night she conceives Issachar.

Leah Family Tree

Leah dies some time after Jacob and his family returned to the land of Canaan. She is traditionally thought to be buried in the Cave of the Patriarchs in Hebron in Israel alongside Jacob.