Thursday, January 04, 2007

Parashat Vayechi - Surviving Exile

Traditionally, we view the chapter of the berakhot (ch.49) as an opportunity for Yaakov, the aged patriarch, to depart from each of his sons with a wise life-message. He encourages, praises and critiques, leaving each of his sons with a personal lesson that will assist him in the future.

But the Midrashim develop a very different focus. They suggest that Yaakov focused not so much on his personal connection with his family as on the covenantal future of the Jewish people, on their survival intact through their protracted exile in Egypt. As he lies dying, it is the future of Am Yisrael that dominates his consciousness.

What are the messages that Yaakov seeks to impart? Read the shiur here.

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