[Avodah] Vayeitzei

Cantor Wolberg cantorwolberg at cox.net
Sun Dec 1 09:32:10 PST 2019

I don't know if the following question has ever been asked.  Chapter 28, verse 16 states: "Vayikatz Ya'akov mishnaso," And Jacob awoke from his sleep..." Now my question is: if it says "Jacob awoke," then why does it have to say "from his sleep?"  Of course it was from his sleep. All it had to say was: "And Jacob awoke.”  

Further, if you look at verses 11 and 12, it says "...vayishkav bamakom ha-hu. Vayachalom..." "...and he lay down in that place. And he dreamt...”  Now why didn't it say: "...and he lay down in that place AND HE SLEPT," and THEN "And he dreamt...”? 

So in the first instance it says Jacob awoke “from his sleep” which is redundant and the second example it says he lay down and dreamt. There is should have included (he lay down) AND HE SLEPT and dreamt. You might say that the fact that he dreamt indicated that of course he slept. However, if that’s the case, then the Torah should have been consistent and the first time should just have said “And Jacob awoke…” 

I propose the following possible answer: In the first instance, when he had the dream, it was really a prophetic vision and it wasn't an ordinary sleep, hence, the word sleep was omitted.  However, after the dream, he slipped into a regular sleep, and therefore it says he "awoke from his sleep.”

More information about the Avodah mailing list