Thursday, August 24, 2023

Was Yakov referring to G-d or an angel?

 There seems to be a major dispute whether to understand Yaakov's bracha as  referring to an angel or simply an agent of G-d

 Rashi under stands it is simply an agent of G-d


המלאך הגאל אתי THE ANGEL REDEEMING ME — The angel who was usually sent to me in my trouble, as it is said, (Genesis 31:11) “And the angel of God said unto me in the dream: Jacob etc. … (Genesis 31:13), I am the God of Beth-el.”


Pesachim (118a) And Rabbi Yoḥanan said: The task of providing a person’s food is more difficult than the redemption. While, with regard to the redemption, it is written: “The angel who has redeemed me from all evil” (Genesis 48:16), whereas, with regard to sustenance, it is written: “The God who has been my shepherd all my life long to this day” (Genesis 48:15). This verse implies that only God can help one who is struggling to earn a living. 
Seforno  Yaakov appeals to his own guardian angels to bless the children if their own merit does not suffice for the guardian angels assigned to them to do the job. 
Malbim המלאך הגאל אתי מכל רע. שהנהגת יעקב שהיתה דומה כרועה ירעה צאנו כן היתה הנהגתו עפ"י הטבע לא בנסים גלוים, א"כ היתה ההנהגה ע"י מלאך ושליח מה' לא עפ"י ההשגחה הנסיית בעצמה שזה לא תהיה ע"י מלאך ושליח רק מה' בעצמו ובכבודו.

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