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The Foundation Stone Haggadah: Themes of the Haggadah 5

Some say that we should read this verse as, “My father was a wandering Aramean,” where ‘my father’ refers to Laban. After all, we are all descendants of Laban. Think about it. Jacob had four wives and they are the mothers of all twelve tribes. The four wives were daughters of Laban. In fact, Laban’s grandfather is Abraham’s brother. So we go back to Abraham’s brother as much as we do to Abraham!

This was what the fight was about between Jacob and Laban. When Jacob runs away, Laban runs after him saying, “The daughters are my daughters! The children are my children!” In other words, Laban is saying that he is just as much a father to these people as Jacob is. In taking several of Laban’s things with her, Rachel preserves a connection between Laban and his children. But there can be no connection. So Jacob and Laban make an agreement. They set up a sign. Laban calls it HaGrasa Adusah, the stone that testifies to the fact they are split, and Jacob Gal Etz, the stone that attests that we no longer have anything to do with each other. Jacob wins the right to say that we are not descendants of Laban, but of Abraham.

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