Larchmont Temple Chevra Torah

Questioning faith in the parsha

VaYishlach: The Remez

V. 28-29 And he said, ‘I will not let you go till you bless me.’ So he said, ‘What is yoru name?’ And he replied ‘Jacob.’ Then he said, ‘No longer will it be said your name is Jacob, but Israel, for you have striven with the Divine ad humans and prevailed.’

RADAK: The question is rhetorical, like God’s question to Adam ‘Where are you?” Gen 3:9] Designed merely to initiate conversation, the angel already knew his name.

RASHI: “I will not send you away unless you bless me.” That is, ‘Acknowledge my right to  my father’s blessings which Esau disputes.’

MUNK: Note: Torah has “beyrachtani—bless me” in the past tense. Thus the angel answers, ‘Your name “Jacob” means “the supplanter,” he who took the place of the other; the one who takes crooked paths. But now your name shall no longer be Jaob–this name will be part of what is past, and no more. Your name will be Israel, for you have fought and won the blessings openly and with dignity. [cf.RASHI]



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