Tuesday, November 23, 2004

Vayishlach Recap from last year

Last year I had some interesting posts on parashat Vayishlach.

In "Dual Etymologies for Names" I discuss how various place names seem to have more than one reason for their naming. Specifically, מחנים (in the dual form), named at the end of Vayeitzei, is so named because Yaakov sees a single encampment of angels. But then we see in Vayishlach, shortly afterwards and in the same location, that he splits his family into two camps. I discuss a midrash on the matter in Tg Yerushalmi, and the Scriptural basis for the midrash. Tg Yonatan, Rashi, and Ramban seem to take on the issue of why there is a dual in מחנים.
Another dual place name in Vayishlach is Penuel, which Yaakov first names for having seen God face to face and living to tell the tale, yet later he uses the term to say that seeing Esav's face is like seeing that of God.
Also in Vayishlach is Bet El, which Yaakov seems to name multiple times, but I claim the psukim are speaking in the pluperfect, and he only names the place one time.

In "Dual Etymologies for People's Names" I treat dual etymologies for people rather than places as I did in the first post. Turning to Vayeitzei, I find dual etymologies for Yosef and Yissacher, and give possible explanations for this.

In "Shnayim Mikra VeEchad Targum?" I discuss two psukim that have only a single targum, and how the trup is constructed so as to omit the translation in shul. It is a pasuk about Reuven and Bilhah.

In "Commentators Who Live In Glass Houses?" Ibn Ezra takes a contemporary, Yitzchaki, to task for kefira in the dating of the psukim about the kings of Edom. I show how Ibn Ezra's approach differs from Yitzchaki.

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