Yaakov continued his journey, and arrived at the well near Charan. He noticed a huge stone covering its opening. Because the stone was too heavy for one person to lift, the shepherds waited until everyone had gathered so together they could lift the massive stone.
“Where are you from?” Yaakov asked the shepherds.
“We’re from here… from Charan,” they replied.
“Great! Do you know Lavan?” asked Yaakov.
“Lavan? Sure, we know him! Look, here comes his daughter, Rachel!” answered the shepherds.
It was true! Rachel was a shepherdess, and she was coming towards the well with her flock of sheep. Yaakov had a strong feeling that she was to be his intended wife. So he stepped forward to help and with ease Yaakov single-handedly lifted the huge stone off the well! He then proceeded to give water to Rachel’s sheep.
With tears in his eyes, Yaakov introduced himself to Rachel, “I am your cousin, Yaakov. My mother, Rivkah, is your father’s sister. I have come here from the faraway land of Cana’an.”
Rachel ran off to tell her father, Lavan, the exciting news. “Father, you won’t believe this. I met this man at the well and he lifted the rock all by himself. And there is so much more to tell you!”
Yaakov looks much older now than at the beginning of the Parsha, when he was running away from Eisav. Was it possible that he miraculously aged quickly?! Or perhaps Shazak Parsha made a terrible mistake (which is hard to believe)!
Have no fear. This is NOT a mistake!
The reason for this age difference is because there actually was a gap of 14 years. Before Yaakov arrived to the house of Lavan, he was busy studying in the Yeshiva (house of learning) of the great scholars, Shem and Eiver. 14 years of studying Torah! Wow!
Our Rabbis give 2 reasons: