In Genesis 30:8 Bilhah, Rachel's maidservant, conceived and Rachel named the son Naftali נִפְתַּלְתִּי

It says here that for נִפְתַּ֛לְתִּי "my prayer was accepted"

There are many aggadic midrashim that interpret this phrase with the method of notarikon, (i.e., each group of letters represents a word).

Can people list a few of those aggadic midrashim or/and in general indicate how to go about looking them up in other cases?

1 Answer 1


My Chumash gives the reference to the Medrash Rabbah 71 (8).

In this Medrash Rabbah it's 71 (11). I see there one notarikon.

ותאמר רחל נפתולי אלהים נפתלתי וגו׳ . נופתי פתיתי תליתי אחותי עלי. א״ר יוחנן נינפה היה לי לעשות לפני אחותי. אילו שלהתי ואמרתי לו תן דעתך שהם מרמין בך לא היה פורש

which I understand to mean from the commentary:

נופתי I was adorned and perfumed and my couch was ready for my marriage to Yaakov, and in my goodness I adorned and perfumed my sister Leah instead of me on the prepared couch with my good will and even...

פתיתי I introduced her in my stead to the marriage chamber and I gave her the secret signs agreed with Yaakov and so

תליתי I raised up

אחותי עלי my sister over me to marry Yaakov and in the merit of this mitzvah I merited this son.

The method to look them up is to take the reference to the Medrash and see the text of the Medrash.

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