hebrew
1)

Who are "Echav", that Ya'akov instructed to make a pile of stones?

1.

Rashi: They are his sons.

2.

Ramban: They were Lavan's "brothers", who had chased after Ya'akov 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, 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?

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?

4)

According to those who say 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 (74:14, cited in Hadar Zekenim): It is because they were dressed in their father's garments.

3.

R. Bechayei (citing Bereishis Rabah 74:14). It is because they were Giborim and Tzadikim like Yakov.

4.

Tosfos ha'Shalem (2): Yakov's only brother was a Rasha. One calls his beloved "brother", like Hashem calls Yisrael "Bas" and "Achosi".

5.

Tosfos ha'Shalem (3, citing Pirkei d'R. Eliezer 36): One's sons are like his brothers. Also, they were his brothers in Mitzvos.


1

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

5)

רש"י: לאחיו - הם בניו: למה לא פירש שהכוונה לאחי לבן כמו שכתוב בפסוק נ"ד?

1.

גור אריה: אין זה דרך כבוד לומר לאחרים לעשות מלאכה זו.

2.

גור אריה: אחרי הברית אפשר לקרוא להם 'אחים' אבל כאן לא שהרי הם רודפים אחריו להורגו.

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