Tuesday, April 29, 2008
25 And Jacob was left alone; and there wrestled a yellow-eyed fanged creature with him until the breaking of the day. 26 With sharp teeth arranged as wooly thistles and hands as strong as an ox leg, the creature tried to overcome Jacob and feast upon the flesh of his head, making him like himself. 27 But when the Zombie saw that he could not prevail not against his neck and face, he reached down to scoop his flesh for food, into the hollow of his thigh he dug his claws; and the hollow of Jacob's thigh bled upon the sand. 28 And they wrestled further both of them crying out into the night. 29 And when the sun began to peek over the horizon, the Zombie cried: 'Let me go, for the day breaketh.' And he said: 'I will not let thee go, except thou bless me. For your blessing will keep me safe from your kind. ' 30 And he said unto him: 'What is thy name?' And he said: 'Jacob.' 31 And he said: 'Thy name shall be called no more Jacob, but Israel; for thou hast striven with Zombies, and have prevailed.' 32 And Jacob asked him, and said: 'Tell me, I pray thee, thy name.' And he yelled in a bellow so loud that Jacob released him to cover his ears: 'Wherefore is it that thou dost ask after my name?!' And he ran off to avoid the light. 33 And Jacob called the name of the place Peniel: 'for I may have been devoured, lest God not given me the strength to endure.' 34 And the sun rose upon him as he passed over Peniel, and he limped upon his thigh and over his own blood. 35 Therefore the children of Israel eat not the sinew of the thigh-vein which is upon the hollow of the thigh, unto this day; because he gouged the hollow of Jacob's thigh, even into the sinew of the thigh-vein.
Rashi on Gen. 32:25-33
Gen. 32:25 And Jacob was left alone- Having sent his family over the river to protect them from the Zombies, he remained on the Eastern side to look for food.
Gen. 32:26 Making him one like himself- A Zombie.
Gen. 32: 27 He dug his claws- The reason scripture did not mention his claws earlier (Verse 26) but called them "hands" was because this kind of Zombie's claws only come out at will. His first purpose was to make Jacob a Zombie and for that he needed his hands to hold his head steady. Once he saw that he could not prevail, his knuckles split and his sharp nails appeared and he used them to root into Jacob for food.
Gen. 32: 28 Crying out into the night- Despite Jacob's wish to prevent his children and wives from being terrified, he too howled into the darkness at the pain.
Gen. 32:29 Let me go, for the day breaketh- The Zombie, knowing the urgency spoke Hebrew. For had Jacob not understood, he would have kept him in his clutches, worried that letting him go would free him to attach again. You should wonder about yourself if you thought that Jacob speaks Zombie.
Gen. 32:32 Tell me, I pray, thy name- to tell to other Zombies the source of his blessing. Wherefore is it that thou dost ask after my name ?! For it would be my shame for others to know that it was I that lost and gave you protection.
Gen. 32:33 The name of the place Peniel. Pen means "lest."
Gen. 32:34 Over his own blood -to cover it. This is its midrashic sense.
Rashbam on Gen. 32:25
Gen. 32:25 And Jacob was left alone- It is as Rashi said: knowing the risk of Zombies on the eastern side of the Jabbok, Jacob sent his family over the river to the West. However, his reasoning for why Jacob remained on the Eastern side alone surely cannot be correct, for how could it be that the food on one side of the Jabbok was so different than the other. Rather, Jacob knew that if the Zombies would smell the scent of humans and not find at least one on the Eastern bank that they would howl into the night rushing back and forth and terrifying his wife and family. (See: Jeremiah 49:3-- "Wail, O Heshbon, for Ai has been destroyed! Cry out, O daughters of Rabbah, Gird yourselves with sackcloth and lament, And rush back and forth inside the walls").
Gen. 32:34 And over his own blood- The Midrash states that Jacob limped over his own blood in order to cover it (Lev. 17:3) but this cannot be the case. For we know that a treif animal does not require covering. (See Chullin 86a). Over, here is used in its pshat as it "passed." Iyov similarly in "O earth, do not cover my blood may my cry never be made to rest" (Job. 16:18), used this expression because Jacob's uncovered blood testified to the pain that he suffered.