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Friday, November 23

The Weekly Shtikle - Vayishlach

    After Yaakov does battle with the angel and essentially emerges victorious before the angel strikes below the belt. Following the altercation, he his asked his name, to which the angel responds that he will no longer be called Yaakov. Rather, Yisrael will be his name. Could this declaration not have been made regardless of Yaakov's original name? Why did the angel have to ask him his name first?
    It would appear that Yaakov's original added special significance to his new one. His original name was given because he was holding on to Eisav's ankle when he emerged. The name connotes a trailer of sorts, one who is always tagging along behind or even dragging down those who are in front of him. The name Yisrael, however, symbolizes his emergence as a powerful force unto his own. The name change indicated that whereas he was once a follower, lagging behind others, he had now risen to the level where he was overcoming angels.
Have a good Shabbos.


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