Saturday, December 13, 2008

Parshat HaShavua - the Weekly Portion

Why Yaakov "had" to become Yisrael - Parshat Vayishlach

Yaakov's name is associated with the following words:
ikuvim - inhibitions, blockages
eykev - heel, therfore ikvot - footprints, laakov achrei - to follow someone, to track them
akuv midam?
Yaakov's strange and symbiotic relationship with Esav
(Why do I use the Hebrew names and not the English equivalents. Explain)
Did I dream it or did I read in a foreword to Freud's "Moses and Monotheism" (that have never been able to find since)
Yaakov received his birthright through deceit and trickery (no matter the nobility of the imputed intention for his actions) and ever since then the children of Esav have resented the children of Yaakov with an envy and fury they themselves cannot explain. Of course Esav was free not to sell his birthright to Yaakov - his complicity and abdication is not often highlighted enough. But nevertheless Yaakov is perhaps tainted permanently by his acts of duplicity - the end can never justify the maenas enough to dissolve the karmic burden they create ?? - to necissitate a change of name along with an accompanying change of yaakov must become Israel - the one who has wrestled with G?d and over come. Of course what it means to overcome G?d is not a stone that should be left unturned

When Isaac Babel failed his self-imposed "become a cossack" test he wrote that in the end he remained "a man with glasses on his nose and autumn in his heart." This can be sen as a rearticulation of the famous archetypal stereotype of the Jews as Jacob: "Ish Tam, yoshev beohalim..." an innocent man, a dweller of tents" as opposed to the more active and virile Eysav, "ish sadeh" - the man of the field - kind of reminds me of Yitzchak sadeh, the founder of the Palmach.

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