9

Rashi in his commentary on Genesis 37:35 quotes the Midrash (Genesis Rabbah 84:21) that each of Jacob's sons was born together with a twin sister. Are there any sources which discuss the names of these sisters?

All we know from the actual text is that Jacob had one daughter named Dinah (Genesis 30:21).

  • 1
    Avishai EliYahu, welcome to Mi Yodeya, and thanks for bringing your question here! Please consider registering your account, to enable more site features, including voting. I look forward to seeing you around. – Isaac Moses Jun 27 '16 at 2:05
  • 1
    You could make this question even more valuable by editing in a precise citation of Rashi. Chabad.org has an easy-to-use Chumash with Rashi that you could link to. – Isaac Moses Jun 27 '16 at 2:07
  • 1
    It seems that the names of these daughters of Jacob are widely unknown. However, the Ibn Ezra on Genesis 30:21 quotes an opinion in the Gemara (Bava Batra 123a) that Dinah was the twin sister of Jacob's son Zebulun. Following that logic, the Torah only mentions her name as she is important to the story recorded later on in her incident with Shechem. – ezra Jun 11 at 19:35
  • The midrash is not factual afaik. Ya'akov had 12 sons and one daughter. – Ilja Jun 11 at 23:08
1

the corrcet answer to your question is NO. there is no torah source that mentions the names of yaakovs other daughters(assuming that he had others. as an aside.... there are two other psukim that are mashma that yaakov had multiple daughters. bereishis 37,35 and 46,7. 37,35 says... וַיָּקֻמוּ֩ כָל־בָּנָ֨יו וְכָל־בְּנֹתָ֜יו לְנַחֲמ֗וֹ וַיְמָאֵן֙ לְהִתְנַחֵ֔ם וַיֹּ֕אמֶר כִּֽי־אֵרֵ֧ד אֶל־בְּנִ֛י אָבֵ֖ל שְׁאֹ֑לָה וַיֵּ֥בְךְּ אֹת֖וֹ אָבִֽיו׃ All his sons and daughters sought to comfort him; but he refused to be comforted, saying, “No, I will go down mourning to my son in Sheol.” Thus his father bewailed him. and later... 46,7 .בָּנָ֞יו וּבְנֵ֤י בָנָיו֙ אִתּ֔וֹ בְּנֹתָ֛יו וּבְנ֥וֹת בָּנָ֖יו וְכָל־זַרְע֑וֹ הֵבִ֥יא אִתּ֖וֹ מִצְרָֽיְמָה

"he brought with him to Egypt his sons and grandsons, his daughters and granddaughters—all his offspring." many meforshim on these two pesukim deal with this issue. i think that a particularly extensive treatment is found in the daas zekeinim mbaalei hatosfos on the first pasuk. here it is along with sefarias english translation. וכל בנותיו. ר' יהודה אומר תאומות נולדו עם השבטים ונשאום ר' נחמיה אומר כנעניות היו אלא מהו וכל בנותיו כלותיו כי דרך אדם לקרא לכלתו בתו. וקשיא דבת איש כנעני מתרגמינן בת גבר תגרא דאיך אפשר אברהם צוה לאליעזר לא תקח אשה לבני מבנות הכנעני ויצחק צוה ליעקב לא תקח אשה לבני מבנות הכנעני וילך יהודה וישא כנענית אלא מהו בת איש כנעני גבר תגרא. וי"ל דההיא אליבא דר' יהודה דאמר תאומות נולדו עם השבטים וגו' וכן נראה מדכתיב ושאול בן הכנענית מכלל שהאחרות לא היו כנעניות. אבל אליבא דר' נחמיה לא נצטרך לתרגם בת איש כנעני גבר תגרא אלא כנעני ממש. מיהו קשיא אליבא דר' יהודה מדאמרינן קיים א"א אפילו ערובי תבשילין גם מצות יבום היו מקיימין כדכתיב בא אל אשת אחיך ויבם אותה וא"כ האיך השבטים נשאו אחיותיהם וגם יעקב היאך נשא שתי אחיות בחייהן. וי"ל כי מאחר שלא נצטוו על התורה אע"פ שידועה ברוח הקדש מה שהיו רוצין היו מקיימין ומה שהיו רוצין היו מניחין. והא דאמרינן בערבי פסחים שבסעודה של צדיקים לעתיד לבא נותנים כוס של ברכה לברך ליעקב והוא אומר לא אברך מפני שנשאתי שתי אחיות בחייהן אלמא דשלא כהוגן עשה. א"ל דמ"מ הואיל ועתידה תורה איכא קצת עונש בדבר ואפ"ה נשאן אע"ג דאיכא קצת עונש לפי שלא היה רוצה אלא מן הצדקניות ולא מצא בדור צדקניות כמותן וגם אחת מהן לא היתה יכולה להוליד לבדה כל השנים עשר שבטים:

"וכל בנותיו, “and all of his daughters;” according to Rabbi Yehudah, twin sisters had been born for Yaakov with the birth of all of his sons. These had been married by their respective half-brothers, sons of different mothers. According to the opinion of Rabbi Nechemyah, all the sons married wives of Canaanite origin. If he were correct, why does the Torah in our verse not speak of “all his daughter-in-law?“ Rabbi Nechemyah, aware of this, would reply, that in the whole world daughters-in-law are referred to as daughters. (B‘reshit Rabbah 84,21) [Naomi, in the Book of Ruth, certainly is not described as calling her daughters-in-law, “daughters.” Ed.] It is difficult to understand Rabbi Nechemyah, as we all know to what length Avraham had gone to prevent Yitzchok from marrying a wife of Canaanite descent. Yitzchok too had commanded Yaakov not to marry a woman of Canaanite descent and had sent him all the way to Charan to avoid such a union. (Genesis 28,1) Nonetheless, Yehudah married a woman of Canaanite descent. (Genesis 38,2 ברת גבר תגרא, (daughter of a business man, according to Onkelos איש כנעני means business man, traveling salesman) Onkelos therefore accepts the view of Rabbi Yehudah, who said that twin daughters were born with all of Yaakov’s sons.) This is also how we have to understand Genesis 46,10: ושאול בן הכנענית, “and Sha-ul, son of a female merchant.” According to Rabbi Nechemyah’s approach to the subject, there is no need for what sound like far fetched solutions to our problem. The word כנעני or כנענית in either of the verses that bothered us, are simply understood as elsewhere in the Bible, as people of Canaanite descent. We do have a problem if we accept Rabbi Yehudah’s interpretation, an interpretation lacking specific sources in the written text. The Talmud, tractate Yumah folio 28, states that Avaraham had voluntarily observed all the commandments in the written and oral Torah, even including the rabbinic commandment known as eyruv tavshilin, a method of how to prepare food when the day after a festival is a Sabbath, and preparation of food on the festival for the Sabbath is not admissible. He is also supposed to have observed the law of yibbum, marrying the widow of a brother who died without having ever had any children. (Compare Genesis 38,8) where Yehudah, Er’s father, gave Er’s widow Tamar to Onan, his brother, as a wife, in order for him to become posthumously and vicariously a father. If these laws were operative prior to the Torah having been revealed at Mount Sinai to the Jewish people, how could Yaakov have married two sisters while the first sister had still been alive? Also, how could any of the sons of Yaakov have married their sisters? We could answer that although these laws were already known by tradition since Avraham’s time, they had not become obligatory until after revealed at Mount Sinai. Our forefathers were free to choose the parts of the commandments they wished to observe voluntarily even they had been privy to them through the Holy Spirit. When the Talmud in Pessachim, folio 119, tells us that in the future (afterlife) at the meal prepared by G–d for the righteous, that when Yaakov was being honoured presiding over the grace after the meal, he declined the honour, saying that seeing he had wed two sisters while both were alive, he was not worthy of that honour. Clearly he considered what he had done as having been improper. It is possible to argue that having been aware that what he had done would qualify for a penalty if he would do so after the revelation at Mount Sinai, he felt that he deserved at least a minor penalty. If he decided in favour of committing an act deserving of a minor penalty, he did so because he wished to marry only wives who were personally righteous, and these were hard to find, especially considering the age at which he had a chance to get married. As it turned out, even one of these two sisters who was a righteous woman did not by herself bore for him all the twelve tribes."

| improve this answer | |

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .