Parashat Vayishlach / What’s in a Name?

Aside from the well-known story of how Jacob received his name, the Jewish patriarch's struggle with his twin brother, Esau, found himself at the center of an additional drama connected with names.

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The patriarch Jacob receives his name because of his brother Esau’s heel: In Hebrew, the name Yaakov is derived from the word akev, “heel.” And indeed Jacob was born grasping that part of his older twin’s...