Shemot: Chapter 34

The children of Yisrael, the children of Jacob


This discussion provides greater insight into the verse, "These are the names of the children of Israel." Rabbi Yosi first reinforces this verse as an indication of the importance of the twelve Tribes who sustain the world. His comment on the title names reveals a lack of distinction between the terms; this relates closely to the death and descent of Joseph and his brothers, and is the subject of the discourse that ensues. We learn that the Shechinah and the supernal angels went with Jacob and his sons into Egypt while he was alive. Then, after the death of Joseph and the tribes, Yisrael descended into exile, and the Shechinah (with the twelve Tribes inscribed in Her) and the supernal angels descended with them. Consequently, Yisrael became known as the children of Jacob, since they descended to the level of the children of Jacob.


The power to end our exile and control the twelve constellations and the entire physical world, and to ascend to the ultimate spiritual heights known as "Yisrael," is imbued in the reader.