|November 1 -- Feast of Deborah, Ruth, and Rachel|
Rachel had it rough and only part of that was her own doing. Her Aunt Rebecca's son Jacob was sent to live with his Uncle Laban and the rest of the family until Esau (Jacob's brother) cooled off. He was angry about his inheritance being stolen. Upon arriving at Laban's farm, Jacob rushed up and kissed his cousin Rebecca and then introduced himself. She took him to see her father, who welcomed him, agreed that he could live and work with them, and offered to negotiate wages. Jacob asked for Rachel -- the price of seven years labor was agreed.
|Kissing Cousins -- Jacob and Rachel|
Eventually, Jacob spirited his growing family (and flocks) away from his father-in-law, who was plainly not a square dealer. As they were hastily packing, Rachel swiped the household gods (What? Idolatry? Second Commandment?) and kept them in the seat cushion on her camel. Laban of course pursued, accused Jacob of god-theft, and searched the caravan. Rachel cleverly didn't move; her reason was that one that always makes men give ground -- time of the month. Unfortunately, Jacob, unaware that the gods actually had been swiped, made a big show of innocence for his father-in-law by laying a curse on anyone who had them. Oops. Rachel died not long after, giving birth to her second son, Benjamin.