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Parshat Vayishlach

In this week's Torah portion, Vayishlach, we read how Jacob (Yaakov) struggles with an angel and wins. The angel tells Jacob that he will be also called Israel, "because you struggled with G-d('s angel) and with men, and prevailed." Later in our portion, G-d tells Jacob that his name will now be Israel. He goes on to be called by both names, sometimes Israel and other times Jacob.

And these are the names by which the Jewish people are called - Bnei Yisrael (the Children of Israel) and Beit Yaakov (the House of Jacob).

What is the significance of these names? Why keep both names? If Yisrael is so special, why keep Yaakov?

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Hide and Seek

Do you remember playing "Hide-'n-Go-Seek" as a child? Where was your favorite place to hide? The bathtub? Under the bed in your parents' room? Behind the coats in the hall closet?

Were you ever "it" and couldn't find anyone and called out in exasperation, "Come out, come out, where ever you are. Where is everybody?

"Where are you?"

'Where are you?' G-d asked Adam and Eve after they sinned. Did G-d not know their exact whereabouts?" questioned a Russian official, a Biblical scholar, during the imprisonment and interrogation of Rabbi Shneur Zalman.

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