Wednesday, December 20, 2006

The Alshich on Lavan’s 100 Tricks

The Alshich once delivered a derashah on parshas va’yetzei, and the Ari zal was among the listeners. The Alshich explained Yaakov's comment to his wives, "And your father cheated me and changed my salary aseres monim, which the Midrash understands as actually one hundred times (Bereishis Rabbah 74). The Alshich proceeded to list one by one all the tricks and the lies and sly maneuvering through which Lavan tried to swindle Yaakov. Throughout the derashah, the Ari zal sat and smiled.

Later, when asked as to the reason behind his smile, the Ari zal explained that in the heavens it was decreed that Lavan should descend and listen to the derashah that disclosed the entire list of his deceitful plots. After the listing of each trick, the Ari zal saw that Lavan nodded as if to confirm his guilt. The Alshich continued disclosing these secrets one by one until he had listed ninety-nine pranks. When he reached number one hundred, Lavan jumped up in protest: "That is enough - this one I did not do!" he exclaimed, and then ran out of the room.

The Ari zal concluded, "In truth, he committed that hundredth crime, as well. But just a bit of shame was left within him, and he was too ashamed to confess."


Anonymous said...

what is your source?

Ben Rambam said...

I saw it in Chiyukhah shel Torah and I heard it told many times. But I do not know the original source.