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Be Thyself
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I have argued in previous years of Covenant and Conversation that the episode in which the Jewish people acquired its name – when Jacob wrestled with an unnamed adversary at night and received the name Israel – is essential to an understanding of what it is to be a Jew. I argue here that it […]
Parshat VaYishlach 5773
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And Yaakov asked and said, “Tell me your name.” And he said, “Why do you ask my name?” And he blessed him there. (Beresheit 32:30) Yaakov awaits his encounter with Esav. During the night he battles with a man. Our Sages explain that this man is an angel representing Esav. The angel cannot overcome Yaakov. […]
Vayishlach – Rishon
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You may recall that Yaakov left home because his brother Eisav was out to kill him. Now that he was returning, Yaakov took appropriate steps to prepare for the reunion. He turned to G-d for help, he sent gifts in the hopes of appeasing Eisav, and he prepared for battle. Yaakov sent messengers to Eisav […]