How many stones did Yackov take to sleep on and what are their significances? (Genesis 28:11)
closed as not a real question by Isaac Moses Dec 20 '11 at 4:27
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There is a 5 way Machlokes regarding how many stones Yaakov used.
Targum Yonasan Ben Uziel:says "U'Nisiv Arbaa M'Avnei Asra" which is 4 stones. The reason brought is from a Tanchumah which we don't have, Avraham had two wives one son a Rasha, Yitzchok had one wife one son who is a Rasha, Yackov had 4 wives each rock was a Bris that he would have all good children.
Pirkei D'Rav Eliezer:he took 12 stones. They were from the stones that Yitzchok Avinu laid upon at the Akeida. The reason he took 12 was to let us know that through him will come the 12 Shevatim, and they became 1 to let us know that they will be 1 nation.
Medrash Raba: brings three opininons a Machlokes between Reb Yehuda, Reb Nechemia, and the Rabanan.
Reb Yehuda says 12 as a test. If they would connect then he would know that through him will come the 12 Shevatim.
Reb Nechemia says 3 as a test. Hashem was Meyached his name on Avraham Avinu and Yitzchok Avinu. If they connect then I know that Hashem is Meyached his name on me too and that I am connected to the first two Avos.
Rabanan say 2 as a test. Avraham had Yishmoel and the Bnei Ketura. Yitzchok had Eisav. If they connect then I know that all my children will be Tzadikim.
Zohar: says 1 stone which the Ohr Hachaim Hakodesh says was the Even Shisiyah Rock of Foundation even thought its plural it means from among the many stones and if you look at Tosfos in Chulin he says its one and hence later when it says that Yackov took one stone it is not a problem and you don't need to say that they joined together later on.