Who were Lavan's "brothers" that he took with him to chase Ya'akov?


Rashi: They were his relatives. 1


Ramban: He took every mighty man from Charan.


Tosfos ha'Shalem (25:3, citing a Midras): They were dogs. 2


Ramban (Pasuk 46): They were also Yakov's relatives, for they are from Nachor's family. (The Pasuk there connotes that they are Yakov's brothers.) He did not want to confront Ya'akov with strangers, who would indulge in quarrels with Ya'akov and even steal from him.


This best explains (Pasuk 25) "Taka Es Echav" (PF).


How far apart was Lavan from Ya'akov when he (Lavan) set out to catch up with him? When did he catch him up?


Rashi: Lavan had left town, where they both lived, 1 to shear his sheep (which were three days away). When Ya'akov left town, it took three days for Lavan's men to inform him of the new developments. Meanwhile Ya'akov fled in the opposite direction, in which case Lavan was six days away from Ya'akov - and, as the Pasuk relates, he caught him up on the next day. 2


Moshav Zekenim: Yakov had traveled six days from Charan when Lavan found out. Lavan chased and caught up with him on the seventh day. 3 (Refer to 31:22:1:3.)


Riva, citing Chizkuni: Lavan returned to Charan (on day three), delayed three days (and gathered his "brothers"; refer to 31:23:1:2), and from there went seven days journey on the seventh day. We must say that even Lavan 4 rested on Shabbos. 5


Bechor Shor: Lavan traveled in four days (days four through seven) what Yakov traveled in seven days. 6


See Ba'alei Tosfos (Hadar Zekeinim).


See also Rashbam.


He comes to explain why Rashi says that Lavan went in one day what Yakov went in seven. If Lavan was to the east of Charan, and Yakov went west (towards Eretz Yisrael), he was more than seven days journey away! Perhaps he returned to Charan on the sixth day, looked for his Terafim and gathered his "brothers", and from there went seven days journey on the seventh day. Or, Lavan was roughly north or south of Charan, and Yakov was six days from him, and six days from Charan. (PF)


Perhaps [even] Yakov went on Shabbos. There was concern for Piku'ach Nefesh (lest Lavan chase him to kill him), and outside of Eretz Yisrael he would transgress Torah law when needed (refer to 29:28:151:4 - PF)!


Riva rejects this. Surely Lavan ha'Rasha did not observe Shabbos! Rather, Rashi means that Lavan traveled in one day (day four) what was seven days journey for Yakov. Also the Rosh and Hadar Zekenim explain like this.


It seems that the four days are from when Lavan was told. Why does the calculation exclude Lavan's return to his house to find that his Terafim were taken? Perhaps the informer went to ask the Terafim, found that they are gone, and Lavan trusted him and immediately went east to pursue Yakov. If Lavan was roughly north or south of Charan, we can say that seven days east of Charan was also seven days away from Lavan. This Perush connotes that Yakov went also on Shabbos. Refer to 31:23: 2:3 7

. (PF)


רש"י: דרך שבעת ימים - כל אותן שלשה ימים שהלך המגיד להגיד ללבן הלך יעקב לדרכו. נמצא יעקב רחוק מלבן ששה ימים: נראה שרש"י הניח שעדר לבן היה מרוחק מהלך 3 ימים לצד הקוטבי למקום שהלך יעקב (כגון- יעקב הלך דרומה ולבן צפונה), וקשה שאולי הלך לבן לצד אחר (כגון- למזרח) ונמצא שהיה בינו לבין יעקב פחות ממרחק שבעת ימים?


גור אריה: כתוב שלבן לקח את אחיו לרדוף אחרי יעקב, ונמצא שהוא חזר תחילה לביתו מהלך 3 ימים ואח"כ רדף אחרי יעקב מהלך 4 ימים.


גור אריה: הכתוב מציין שדבר הבריחה הוגד ללבן ביום השלישי, ואם לא היה זה לכיוון ההפוך מיעקב, עדין איננו יודעים מה היה המרחק בין לבן ליעקב. 1


הכלל הוא שכאשר התורה מפרשת- לא בא הכתוב לסתום אלא לפרש, ולכן יש ללמוד שהמרחק בין יעקב ללבן היה 3 ימים.


רש"י: ובשביעי השיגו לבן: למה כתב רש"י כך, והרי היה זה ביום הרביעי?


גור אריה: כוונת רש"י שהוא היה במרחק של שבעה ימים.

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