Genesis: 29:20 "And they were in his eyes like a few days in his love for her."
Yaakov traveled to the home of his Uncle Lavan to find a wife for himself and to flee from his brother Esav. After meeting Rochel, Lavan's daughter, he made up with Lavan that he would work for him for seven years to earn Rochel's hand in marriage. The cited verse says that those seven years were like a few days in his eyes. How can this be understood?
We know from experience that when we badly want something, the time that elapses until we get it, seems like forever. I distinctly remember as a child getting tickets for our school's outing at Kennywood Amusement Park in Pittsburgh a month before the outing and counting the days, hours and minutes until that blessed day! It seemed like an eternity until I would go to Kennywood!
There are a number of answers given to understand this verse. Imagine if someone told you you could make a billion dollars if you worked for him for seven years. Not only would you do it but those seven years would seem like nothing compared to the reward. Similarly, because Yaakov realized how special Rochel was, the seven years of work were deemed as just a few days compared to what he would be gaining afterwards.
Another explanation is given by Rav Eliyahu Lopian, of blessed memory, He explains it with an analogy. Imagine a man sitting in a restaurant waiting to order his food. The waiter comes over and asks him what he would like to order. The fellow says, "I love fish." The waiter goes into the kitchen to order a plate of cooked fish for the man. There happened to be another person sitting at the next table who had heard his neighbor order the fish.
Being a simpleton, he was expecting the waiter to bring a fishbowl with fish swimming around to give this guest the pleasure of looking at them, feeding them, and just enjoying their presence. How shocked he was when the waiter brought a plateful of fish and saw the fellow stab his fork into the fish and begin cutting it up into small pieces and swallowing them. "This is how you treat your loved ones?" exclaimed the man. You can't possibly love them for if you did, how could you treat them so cruelly?"
Rav Lopian says that in truth this simpleton was correct. If the fellow truly loved fish, he wouldn't cut them up and eat them. Really, this person man didn't love fish; he loved himself and therefore wanted to please himself with the delicious taste of fish.
Rav Lopian says that most people make a mistake in their definition of love, "Ahava" in hebrew. They think that "Ahava" is that warm and special feeling that fills your being when you are in the company of that "special person," that feeling of deep desire and longing for the other.
In truth, he says, "Ahava" the Jewish definition of love, is the feeling which stirs a person to want to give goodness and kindness to another. It is not ego-centered but on other-centered.
In fact, the root of the word "Ahava" is "hav" which means "give" in Aramaic. Rav Dessler writes that true love between people is when each person is focused on how they can give more to the other. When each person, however, is focused on his or her own pleasure and expects the other to fulfill that pleasure, this is not true love.
If Yaakov would have "loved" Rochel in this way, the seven years would have seemed like a lifetime as he would be focusing on his pleasure and his gain. Instead Yaakov wanted to spend a lifetime of giving to her; he didn't think about what he could get for himself but only how he could give and bestow pleasure to her. In removing his "self" from the picture, the seven years that Yaakov worked for Rochel seemed only like a few days.