"'Unique Forms of Continuity in Space', 1913 bronze by Umberto Boccioni" by Wmpearl - Own work. Licensed under Public Domain via Commons

Vayishlach

Jacob contains complex contradictions. Earlier, this was expressed through fragmentation and polarity: he dwells in tents, while his twin brother Esau hunts in the fields; his voice and clothing don’t match; he works for one wife and then for another; he splits his family into two camps. Now, suddenly, he stands alone and for one long night wrestles with an angel, with God, with himself. After this struggle, something in Jacob changes: along with receiving a new name, Israel (“Godwrestler”), he manages to integrate the warring fragments of his soul. Only when he makes peace [shalom] within himself can he then make peace with his brother, reunite with his family and rebuild his former life – “and Jacob walked complete [shalem]”.

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[Inspired by: Unique Forms of Continuity in Space” by Umberto Boccioni; Genesis 33Kli Yakar on 33:18; and a fantastic midrash by an anonymous “philosopher of Seville”, quoted and translated into Hebrew by Rabeinu Behaye ben Asher.]

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