hebrew
1)

Who are "Echav", that Yakov instructed to make a pile of stones?

1.

Rashi: They are his sons.

2.

Ramban: They were Lavan's "brothers", who had chased after Yakov together with him (Pasuk 23). 1 We can say that they were also Yakov's relatives, for they are from Nachor's family. Or, Yakov called them brothers out of respect, like he called the shepherds "Achai" (Bereishis 29:4).


1

We find also below (Pasuk 54) that Yakov called Lavan's brothers to join him to eat, and not Lavan himself.

2)

What is the significance of the meal that they ate together there?

1.

Ramban #1: It was merely to leave a lasting reminder of what had just transpired.

2.

Ramban #2: This is the way of people entering into a covenant, to eat together a shared meal as a sign of affection and unity. And here, now that they had made such a strong pact, backed by an oath, Yakov slaughtered animals and organized a big party. It may even be that the party referred to here is synonymous with the Shechitah mentioned later (in Pasuk 54). 1


1

In which case the Torah is stressing that he made a large feast that lasted well into the night, so that they all slept there overnight. It is not then clear why the Torah interrupted the topic of the feast with Pesukim 47 - 53?

3)

What is the significance of the meal that they ate together there?

1.

Ramban #1: It was merely to leave a lasting reminder of what had just transpired.

2.

Ramban #2: This is the way of people entering into a covenant, to eat together a shared meal as a sign of affection and unity. And here, now that they had made such a strong pact, backed by an oath, Ya'akov slaughtered animals and organized a big party. It may even be that the party referred to here is synonymous with the Shechitah mentioned later (in Pasuk 54). 1


1

In which case the Torah is stressing that he made a large feast that lasted well into the night, so that they all slept there overnight. It is not then clear why the Torah interrupted the topic of the feast with Pesukim 47 - 53?

QUESTIONS ON RASHI

4)

Rashi writes that Yakov called to his children. Why are they called "Echav"?

1.

Rashi: They acted like his brothers-in-arms in time of trouble. 1

2.

Bereishis Rabah (74:13, cited in Hadar Zekenim): It is because they were dressed in their father's garments.

3.

R. Bechayei (citing Bereishis Rabah 74:13). It is because they were Giborim and Tzadikim like Yakov. Tanchuma (on 32:7)


1

See also Rashi (on Pasuk 54) and Sifsei Chachamim.

5)

Rashi writes that "Echav" are Yakov's sons. Why did he not explain so above?

1.

Ha'Emek Davar: It is improper to call distinguished people to gather rocks. Why did he not tell his slaves to do so? After Lavan's provocative words, ending with 'all you see is mine', Yakov pursued Shalom and gave him to eat. He wanted to train his sons in this Midah. He called them 'his brothers' to teach that they should do so even without the Mitzvah of Kivud Av. 1


1

Ha'Emek Davar: This is a Siman l'Banim to be appeased quickly with intent those who harm them, and to offer food to draw close the distant, like Yakov did.

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