Friday, December 9, 2011


by Devora Gila Berkowitz

Parshat Vayishlach

When Avram's name changes, he receives a divine "hei" and becomes Avraham (Bereshit 17:5). Avraham represents chesed, an outpouring of giving, -- the right side of the body. He is the epitome of lovingkindness.

Yaakov's name change is more drastic -- from Yaakov to Yisrael (Bereshit 32:29). His transformation comes out of an internal struggle that leaves him limping yet emerging victorious. Part of this victory stems from being able to integrate both his past and future. For this, he represents the center line, balance, harmony, and beauty.

Can you relate to either of these transformations? If so, which one, and why? Feel free to share.
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