And Rachel had taken the household gods and put them in the camel cushion and sat on them. And Laban rummaged through the whole tent and found nothing. And she said to her father, "Let my lord not be incensed that I am unable to rise before you, for the way of women is upon me."
These "household gods"—as Alter translates—are, in Hebrew, teraphim.
A very old interpretation (the Tanhuma Yelammedenu) suggests that Rachel stole the teraphim in order to "eradicate idolatry from her father's home." What do you think? (Alter clearly disagrees!)
What might the teraphim have looked like? The Tanhuma has a picturesque vision of them:
And how were they constructed? First they would take a firstborn male child, kill him, and sprinkle him with salt and spices. Then they would write a demon's name upon a gold tablet and place it beneath the child's tongue while performing certain magical rites. After this, they inserted the corpse into a recess in the wall and bowed down before it. Then, they would bow down before it, and it would speak to them in a whisper.
(Tr. Samuel Berman)
More likely, the teraphim were much less gruesome: "household gods," familiar deities made of stone or clay. Such deities--perhaps a foot or so high--have been found through much of the territory of ancient Israel. Here's a picture (from the Bible Lands Museum in Jerusalem).