6:26 AM

Parshas VaYechi

Posted by Scholar

  • Why does the Parsha which discusses the death of Yaakov start off with the words, "And Yaakov lived"?

The numerical value of "vayechi" (translation: and he lived) is 34. Yaakov lived 147 years, the best of which were 34 years. The 17 years from the birth of Yosef, until he was sold as a slave, and the 17 years he was in Egypt with his son Yosef, add up to 34. These are the "vayechi", the best 34 years of Yaakov's life.

  • "Assemble yourselves and I shall tell you what awaits at the end of days."

This was a message just before Yaakov passed away. In the Torah, "koreh" (happens) is written with an alef, changing its meaning to "call". Why? Yaakov gathered all his children around his bedside, in order to tell them what would be the "call of the Jews". In order for them to bring Moshiach closer, they would need to know what to do. We, in turn, should take a lesson from Yaakov's call, and gather in unity to study and listen to Torah. Through this, we will be able to greet Moshiach.

  • In this week's Parsha, we learn about the death of Yaakov. This itself is a slight problem, since the Gemora in Taanis says that Yaakov never died. The Ramban asks how the Sages could say such a thing, but Yaakov himself spoke of his death, "Behold I am about to die."

The Ramban answers that perhaps Yaakov didn't know that he wasn't going to die. He also provides a second reason: that perhaps Yaakov didn't want to glorify himself with the fact he wasn't going to die. From the Ramban's words it seems that all of his children thought he had indeed passed away- except for Yosef, who knew that he hadn't.


Shira said...

This is so great so we can always have something to read and say at the Shabbos table, short and amazing.
Thank you so much!

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