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הבה לי בנים ואם אין מתה אנכי... ויחר אף יעקב ברחל ויאמר התחת אלקים אנכי

“Give me children – otherwise I am dead.” Yaakov’s anger flared up at Rachel, and he said, “Am I instead of G-d?” (30:1,2)

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Ramban says that, undoubtedly, Yaakov Avinu prayed for Rachel Imeinu. He admonished her for wrongly implying that a tzaddik, righteous person, has the power to “coerce” Hashem to respond to his wish. Thus, when Rachel saw that relying on Yaakov’s prayer was not an option, she prayed herself to the One Who listens and responds – Hashem.

The Avnei Nezer of Sochatchov was a brilliant Gaon who hardly ever left his home. He was constantly involved in Torah – either studying or teaching. One day he announced to his students that he was attending the Bris of the son of a simple tailor who had asked him to serve as sandek, hold the infant during the circumcision. When asked why he was making such an exception, he explained, “This Jew had sanctified the Name of Heaven. Thus, he deserves that I attend the celebration. He came to me and said, ‘Fifteen years have passed since my wedding, and Hashem has helped me. Now I am fortunate to usher my son into the covenant of Avraham Avinu. I ask the venerable Rebbe to honor our simchah!’

“When I heard these words I decided that I must attend. How often have I heard individuals say, ‘I was helped in Gur; I was helped in Kotzk; I was helped in Radzmin’? I never hear a person declare, ‘I was helped by Hashem!’ Finally, today, I hear the tailor announce, ‘Hashem has helped me!’ I must attend the simchah of a Jew who attributes salvation to its true Source.”

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