וואני בבאי מפדן מתה עלי רחל בארץ כנען בעוד כברת ארץ לבא אפרתה ואקברה שם בדרך אפרת When I came from Padan Rachel died on me in the land of Cannan while there was still a stretch of land to go to Ephras, and I buried her there on the road to Ephras
Rashi comments on Yaakov’s explanation to Yosef regarding why he did not bury Rachel in Chevron with the other Patriarchs and Matriarchs by quoting Rav Moshe Hadarshan. He notes that Yaakov stated that he had buried her on the road, even though he was within 2000 amos from Chevron. Yaakov also told Yosef that on that day it was dry, so he shouldn’t think that the reason he buried her outside of Chevron was due to the rain. Rashi continues and tells us the rest of the story that Yaakov told Yosef: the reason was because Hashem had told him to bury Rachel in that location.
Rav Chaim Shmuelevitz remarks that this conversation seems to be very odd. Why didn’t Yaakov simply tell Yosef that Hashem had instructed him, without the additional explanations? He should have acknowledged to Yosef that he recognized that he was upset that he hadn’t buried his mother, Rachel, in Chevron, but that it was because of Hashem’s command. It doesn’t seem that he needed to add the information about the distance and the weather. Rav Chaim clarifies that Yaakov was telling Yosef that everyone needs to be concerned about hearing what he wants to hear. Yaakov contended that Hashem told him to bury Rachel outside of Chevron so that she would be there for the Jewish people when they would be exiled after the destruction of the first Bais Hamikdash. Even though he claimed that Hashem had decreed this, Yosef might still have had a complaint that perhaps his father had misunderstood the command of Hashem. This would be very likely if Yaakov had personally wanted the mandate of Hashem to be to bury Rachel there, and not to have to bring her all the way to Chevron. Yaakov addressed this concern by explaining that it was very close to be able to bury her in Chevron. In addition, it was dry outside and rain was never a concern. Clearly, he had no desire and no obvious reason to bury her on the road other than the command of Hashem.
We should reflect on this lesson from Yaakov Avinu that he was concerned that perhaps he had heard what he had wanted to hear, and not what Hashem had actually said. We need to examine our actions carefully to be sure they are what Hashem really wants, not what we would like Hashem to want from us.