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Parshat Vayechi

5760 This week we read the final weekly portion ‘VaYechi’ in the first book of the Torah, B'raishet. It speaks mainly of the blessings that Yaakov gave to his sons, shortly before he departed this world.
5761 This week’s Torah reading relates the dramatic last moments of Yaakov, the ‘Chosen’ of the fathers, when he blessed his sons and was 'gathered to his people'.
5762 This week's section tells of the blessings that Yaakov gave to his son's before he died. But it seems that these blessings were a consolation prize for what he wanted to give them. He wanted to reveal to them when Moshiach would arrive! (See Rashi 49:1)
5763 This week's Torah reading deals with the blessings Jacob gave to his sons before he died. What exactly is a blessing?
5764 This week’s section describes in great detail the deathbed scene of Yaakov and how he blesses each of his twelve sons until his final moment. But the Talmud (Pesachim 56a) tells us that at this time Yaakov suspected his sons of idolatry. Perhaps they believed in more than One G-d.
5765 In this week's section, we read that on his death bed, Jacob wants to reveal what will occur in the days of Moshiach, but it became closed to him. In fact Rashi tells us that upon his death 'the hearts and eyes of all the Jews became closed'. So instead of telling about Moshiach, Jacob tells his sons about other important things.
5766 This week's section begins on a strange note: The Patriarch Jacob on his deathbed gathers his twelve sons around him for a final message but he didn't succeed. The Talmud tells us (Pesachim 56a) that Jacob wanted to reveal the end of days to his sons (i.e. the date of the arrival of Moshiach) but the Shechina (G-d's presence) left him and he wasn't able to"
5767 This week's section finishes the first of the Five Books of Moses; the Holy Bible given directly and publicly by the Creator of the Universe to the entire Jewish nation at Mount Sinai. But strangely this book isn't very Biblical! It contains no miracles, rituals, rites, commandments, prayers, meditations, mysterious messages or even sermons; the stuff The Bible is made of.
5768 This Shabbat we finish the first book of the 'Pentateuch' where we learn of the last hours of Jacob, the third and 'choice' Patriarch of Judaism as he prophetically and poetically blesses each of his twelve sons on his death bed.
5769 This week's Torah portion tells us of the blessings that Yaakov gave to his sons shortly before he passed away. At first glance this is not understood. What exactly are blessings… aren't they just good wishes? And what do we care about blessings given some 3,500 years ago? Even more, Yaakov's sons eventually became the 12 tribes and today we don't even know where they are or even if these still exist!
5770 This week's Torah portion, the last in the book of Bereshis, tells of how Yaakov (Jacob) blessed his sons (from whom would stem the twelve tribes) before he died.
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