Although the Midrash Bereshis Rabbah (42:8) records the story behind the origin of Og's name:

וַיָּבֹא הַפָּלִיט (בראשית יד, יג), רֵישׁ לָקִישׁ בְּשֵׁם בַּר קַפָּרָא הוּא עוֹג הוּא פָּלִיט, וְלָמָּה נִקְרָא שְׁמוֹ עוֹג שֶׁבָּא וּמָצָא אֶת אַבְרָם יוֹשֵׁב וְעוֹסֵק בְּמִצְוַת עוּגוֹת

Reish Lakish understands Og's name stems from finding Avraham working in mitzvah of matza 'cakes'. However, why does that scene inspire the Torah to call Og 'cake' forever? Is there an assumed zechus Og had for seeing Avraham make matza?


The Munkatcher Rebbe is quoted as asking this question here. He answers that the Arizal is quoted as having said that at the time of matzah baking one should exert oneself and sweat and this will atone for the husks of needlessly wasting seed. By being in the vicinity of Avraham's matzah bake, Og merited to shed the seed wasting husks.

This spiritual event is so significant, that Og is forever named after these cakes.

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  • See also here and here. – mevaqesh Oct 26 '17 at 4:54
  • Great find - thank you! I saw Rav Yitzchak Zilberstein bring a similar answer but wasn't sure how to understand it. Would you please explain how being in the vicinity of a big mitzvah taking place is a zechus? – NJM Oct 26 '17 at 12:18
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    @sam I don't understand, Tosfot doesn't say any of this – Double AA Jul 8 '19 at 3:40
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    Tosfos brings the Pirkei which explains how Og got his nickname ,his true name was פליט – sam Jul 8 '19 at 3:42
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    @sam but that's not what's in this answer. The Pirkei was quoted in the question already – Double AA Jul 8 '19 at 11:34

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