Yaakov is known as the “chosen” of the Avot and Torah was his staple. Yet, the Torah never directly discusses his learning in the beis medrash of Shem V’Aver, instead focusing on Vayeitze, his journey to “work” for Lavan. What’s the explanation? I heard someone say that Yaakov’s learning was no chiddush, but the fact that he was going to work using a Torah framework was a challenge. Rabbi Frand notes that the Rambam lists Yaakov’s name 18 times and only names him Yaakov HaTzaddik when he refers to his work by Lavan. Rabbi Frand understands that this is because Yaakov didn’t waste any time while working for Lavan even though Lavan was a total rasha. Yaakov was honest in his work and wouldn’t steal someone else’s time. This made him a tzaddik.

Recently, a book was published that noted Rav Avrohom Genechovsky, Zt”l’s, thoughts on insincere apologies. Though Rav Engel believes an insincere apology is effective, Rav Avrohom disagreed. However, Rav Avrohom was unwilling to write it down as a psak for he felt that if in the Heavens it was decreed that insincere apologies are effective, he wouldn’t want to undo that. Based on Rav Avrohom’s reasoning the heart’s intent matters and everything must be done with a full heart. Certainly, Yaakov reached a level of the heart giving his all to a man as cunning as Lavan.