Explore with your partner the meaning of Yaakov's names
1)The naming of Yaakov & Esau at Birth (Bereishis 25:25-26)
2)The meaning Esau gave to Yaakov's name (Bereishis 27:36)
3)The meaning the Angel gives to Yisrael (Breishis 32:29)
4)The meaning G-d gives to the name Yisrael (Breishis 35:10) (trick question)
How does the Torah view the relationship of a name to the named?
Can a name predict something that will happen in the future?
What does it mean to change a name?
What does it mean to add a name?
Ramban on Deut. 7:12 – Onkelos… translated it to mean something twisted, derived from “And the crooked path [העקוב] shall be made level” (Is. 40:4) – the twisted road going this way and that. .. Similar is “Because of [בגלל] this thing” (Deut.15:10) – for this reason; the word בגלל is related to: “and they rolled [גללו] the stone from the well’s mouth” (Gen. 29:3) – an indirect, circuitous result. It is further my opinion that any usage of ‘עקב’ involves a turning or rolling, as in “The heart is deceitful [עקוב] above all things” (Jer. 17:9), “he has deceived me [ויעקבני] these two times” (Gen. 27:36), “But Jehu did it in cunning [בעקבה]” (II Kings 10:19) – all of these indicate something twisted and roundabout. That is why Jacob [יעקב] is called Yeshurun [root ‘ישר’ denoting straight], because the opposite of “twisted” העקוב is the straight/level מישור. And the back part of the foot is called עקב: “his hand grasped Esau’s heel [עקב]” (Gen. 25:26), so- called because it is rounded.
The letter "yud" as a prefix, designates the third person singular (or plural, with a Vav as a suffix) in the future tense.
Meanings of the word עקב
Heel, end, reward, twist & turn, crooked, deceitful, ambush, hold back
|Also Your servant was careful with them; for in observing them there is great reward. (Psalms 19:12)||גַּם־עַ֖בְדְּךָ נִזְהָ֣ר בָּהֶ֑ם בְּ֜שָׁמְרָ֗ם עֵ֣קֶב רָֽב|
Avraham had a changed name.
Yaakov has an added name not a changed name.
What is the reason for the difference between Avraham & Yaakov?
Three approaches Abarbanel (Jewish names), Yosef Bchor Shor (changing vs adding), Avraham Ben Harambam (title, honorific) Chizkuni (see next)
To understand the wrestling match Yaakov has with the "Ish"
we have to look at the prophet Hoshea
Rashi's approach to the names of Yaakov
But if a man hates his fellow, lies in wait for him, rises up against him, and strikes him mortally, and he flees to one of these cities,
|וְכִי־יִֽהְיֶ֥ה אִישׁ֙ שׂנֵ֣א לְרֵעֵ֔הוּ וְאָ֤רַב לוֹ֙ וְקָ֣ם עָלָ֔יו וְהִכָּ֥הוּ נֶ֖פֶשׁ וָמֵ֑ת וְנָ֕ס אֶל־אַחַ֖ת הֶֽעָרִ֥ים הָאֵֽל:|
Sforno on the names of Yaakov & Yisrael