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Friday, November 19

The Weekly Shtikle - Vayishlach

Title: What's in a Name

On Fri, Nov 19, 2021 at 3:34 AM Weekly Shtikle <> wrote:

A special Weekly Shtikle mazal tov to our nephew Ezra Lifshitz of Migdal HaEmek on his bar mitzvah this Shabbos. Mazal tov to the extended Yeres and Lifshitz mishpachos.


The Weekly Shtikle is dedicated le'iluy nishmas my father, Reuven Pinchas ben Chaim Yaakov, a"h.


The Weekly Shtikle is dedicated le'iluy nishmas my Oma, Chaya Sara bas Zecharia Chaim, a"h.

In his fierce battle with the angel, Yaakov essentially emerges victorious before the angel strikes below the belt. Following the altercation (32:28), he is asked his name. After his name to be Yaakov, 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 name 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 connotation is that of a trailer or follower, 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 signified that whereas he was once a follower, lagging behind others, he had now risen to the level where he was overcoming angels.


Yaakov's journey, in this sense, can serve as a model for any budding, young bar mitzvah boy. Each of us is born into this world completely helpless and dependent on others. But, as we all declare at the bris, "this little one shall grow into a big one." Bar mitzvah is that turning point when a boy realizes his independence. He is no longer dependent on others but is now responsible for his own deeds as he works to become the gadol he was blessed to become.


Eliezer Bulka

Shtikle Blog Weekly Roundup:

Dikdukian: The Great Dishon Confusion

Dikdukian: Appearances

Dikdukian: Efrasah, What is your Real Name?

Al Pi Cheshbon: Goats and Amicable Numbers by Ari Brodsky

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