WHAT’S IN A NAME?

December 3rd, 2020

In Parshat Vayishlach, Jacob’s name is changed by God from Jacob to Israel. But unlike Abraham, whose name changed from Abram — with that name never being used again — Jacob remains Jacob, even as he is also referred to as Israel.

The continued use of both names is a topic that vexed the sages of the Talmud, and it has also generated many explanations by Torah commentators.

Rabbi Dunner shares an eye-opening passage from the Nesivos Sholom, who reveals why both names — Jacob and Israel — are profoundly important if we want to understand the spiritual development of the Jewish nation’s third patriarch, and indeed for understanding our own spiritual development.

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