: Watch this incredible Torah lesson by Rabbi Yehoshua Landau, who explains with his great charisma how our foremother Rachel was the prototype of true modesty, or “tznius” in Hebrew.
Rachel and Jacob were set to get married, however, there was one problem. Jacob had a feeling Laban would trick him and switch Rachel for her sister Leah under the wedding canopy. He decided to make special signs with Rachel in advance so that he would know it was truly her that he was marrying.
Turns out he was right, and Laban decided he was going to play a fast one and switch Rachel for her sister Leah under the wedding canopy. Rachel found this out, and she decided to give the signs over to her sister to save her from grave embarrassment.
But is that called a great act of modesty? It seems like she was betraying Jacob!
This was actually the ultimate display of modesty and it is a merit that the Jews have forever. How so? The “signs” were actually the three special Mitzvot that pertain to a Jewish married woman. These consist of baking challah for Shabbat, lighting candles before Shabbat, and the laws of family purity.
Rachel told Leah about these Mitzvot preparing her for her Jewish marriage, with no implication that these were actually the secret signs between her and Jacob. Rachel kept quiet and did not say a word, and for the rest of her life, she never made any mention that she and Jacob had really planned to marry each other. And this is the uniqueness of the modesty of Rachel, not once did she tell her sister the truth!
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