This idea appears over and over again, and I failed to find where does it come from. I know that the sefirot are matched by the Ushpizin by the Arizal, Abraham stands for chesed, Yitzchak for gevurah/din, and Yaakov for emet/tiferet, but I think only tiferet is appearing in Zohar.

Where does the notion that Yaakov is "emet" come from? Especially in the light of narratives in recent parashiyot in Chumash (which was addressed by a number of later meforshim)?

(I know Micah 7:20 says תתן אמת ליעקב, but on a pshat level, it has nothing to do with being "epitome of truth", or "perfecting middat haemet to the utmost level". Rather, is a request that Hashem should grant truth for the offspring of Yaakov, the Jewish nation.)


1 Answer 1


Thought certainly not the first source for the idea, Rabbenu Bachya (Bereishis 25:27) is a source who writes:

ועוד יש להתבונן שהיה ראוי לומר יעקב איש אמת כיון שמדתו אמת - Furthermore, actually the Torah should have written: ויעקב איש אמת, “and Yaakov was a man of truth.” His principal characteristic was אמת, “truth.”

as well as Teshuvos HaRashba (V:115) -

והג' כנגד יעקב, שהוא איש אמת כאומרו: תתן אמת ליעקב וגו'; ובזרעו נתאמת! כי אמתת השלטון והנצחון לשי"ת, לא לגלגל ולא למלאך, כי שרה עם אלהים ועם אנשים ויוכל

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