Vayeitzei means “and he departed.” We are told that the Patriarchs Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob observed the entire Torah before it was officially given at Mount Sinai; they were not obligated to keep it, but they voluntarily did so as an additional measure of devotion to God and personal refinement. Yet, in Vayeitzei, Jacob did something contrary to this moral code of behavior that he had accepted upon himself: he married two sisters, Leah and Rachel, which the Torah prohibits (Lev. 18:18).
Many explanations have risen from this seeming contradiction, one of which teaches a great life lesson: Rabbi Schneerson, one of the most influential Jewish leaders and teachers of the 20th century, also known as “the Rebbe,” explains that Jacob had promised Rachel that he would marry her, and breaking that promise after she had waited for him for seven years would have caused her heartbreaking hurt and severe humiliation. Because Jacob was not obligated to obey the Torah’s prohibition against marrying two sisters, he had to make sure that his desire for personal refinement was not at the expense of another human being. This is why Jacob married Rachel, and his actions and decisions serve as a modern-day example of what it means to be concerned and sensitive towards others.