Rachel The Matriarch
In honor of Rachel the Matriarch’s Yahrtzeit on the 11th of Cheshvan: The Zohar teaches that the Matriarch Leah represents the aspect of “Alma D’iskasya” – the Hidden World, whereas Rachel is “Alma D’isgalia” – the Revealed world. Even Leah’s children acknowledge that Rachel is the “Akeret Habayit” – the Mainstay of Jacob’s House – in this world.
This parallels what the Talmud (Yoma 26a) teaches: If you see a scholar who is a master of Jewish law, you know that he is either from the tribe of Yissachar or Levi. Levi, as it says, “That the Kohanim and Leviim will rule for you.” Yissachar, as it says, “He knows understanding of times, what Israel shall do.” (Chronicles I 12) Kings, officers and leaders, King David and the Messiah all descend from Judah. All of the above are children of Leah. The inner sanctity of Israel is the domain of Leah.
The Midrash (Yalkut Shimoni #140) teaches that Joseph is the adversary of Esau. The descendants of Esau will only fall into the hands of the descendants of Rachel. She is the outward manifestation of Israel, and hers is the power that protects the inner holiness of Jacob’s children. She is the one who battles and overcomes all the outward forces that attack holiness, and she is the one who subjugates the impure forces in this world.
It is Rachel who allows the inner sanctity of Israel to survive and flourish and eventually shine in full force. This is why the Messiah the son of Joseph precedes the Messiah son of David.
Rachel and Leah are two aspects of one ‘Face”: Leah, the inner being, and Rachel, the outer.
This is why Leah could not have children until after Jacob married Rachel.