Chavarah- Jewish Community Learning

A blog of Jewish study and traditions. Notes from classes: Torah Study with Rabbi Marder, Toledot and Shabbaton as well as other details found of interest.

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Saturday, January 19, 2013

Return - BethEl - Name Change Reminder

Torah study 1-19 Rabbi Sarah Wolf

Jacob goes back to BethEl. The text mirrors the previous time he was there

Genesis 35: 1-2
Plural form of God...confusing because they just told the people to get rid of their idols in favor of One why is it in the plural form here?  

v8. Insertion "Deborah, Rebekah's nurse died"
Deborah is the nurse of Rebecca…previously…before she was married.
Here she is with the family...midrash that it is the same Deborah and she was sent to get Jacob...  Another version says it is a suggestion of Rebecca's death..the oak of weeping...but not clear ... Concern if the name of Rebecca is focused on the connection to Esau...very confusing. Because we know that Isaac is still alive...but the midrash says that Isaac is blind...and Esau is estranged from no one there to bury her..

v9 -13 
Name change reminder again...and the land promise verified once more ...confirmation of the information with repetition.

Looking at the different name change scenes...Avram to Abraham  is complete. Jacob's name change only happens when he "earns" it...not permanent as Abraham's name change...

Jacob is about to change his he is where is is supposed to be.
Appropriate that the name that means "struggling with God" is a changing name...more reflective of the struggle.

Name change is something that is earned.

Hirsh commentary on diversity of the tribes..and diversity is to show that everyone can worship the same God no matter your background.  It should be praised... (Ironic because Hirsh was anti reform Jews). Diversity in occupation... 

Place...makom....  This place of BethEl. Where God meets Jacob then ascends...
The notion of a sacred remind Jacob ...then God leaves the place...important message from this as well... 

More next week.


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