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Pesukim: 85 [Siman: פה אל פה]
Haftorah: Melachim 1 2:1-12
|Number of Mitzvos:
There are no Positive or Negative commands mentioned in Parshas Vayechi.
- Yaakov summons Yosef and requests to be buried in Eretz Yisrael:
- The length of Yaakov’s years: Yaakov lived in Egypt for 17 years, and he lived for a total of 147 years.
- As his days of passing were approaching, Yaakov summoned his son Yosef and asked him to place his hand under his thigh and “Perform for me kindness and truth, and do not bury me in Egypt. Please carry me out of Egypt and bury me by my forefathers.” Yosef replied that he will do as requested.
- Yosef brings his sons to his father, and is blessed:
- After the above occurrence, Yosef was told that his father is sick, and he brought to him his sons, Ephraim and Menashe. Yaakov was informed that his son Yosef was arriving, and he strengthened himself to sit on the bed.
- Ephraim and Menashe are recognized as tribes: Yaakov told his son Yosef that Hashem appeared to him in Luz and blessed him that he will have many offspring. “Now, you should know, your two sons, Ephraim and Menashe, are to me considered like Reuvein and Shimon. However, any children born after them will be part of their tribal name.”
- Yaakov retells the story of Rachel’s death: “When I traveled from Padan Aram, Rachel died on the journey, on the way to Efrat. I buried her there on the road to Efrat, which is Beis Lechem.”
- Yaakov blesses Ephraim and Menashe:
- Yaakov then looked at the sons of Yosef and asked, “Who are they?” Yosef replied to his father that they are his sons whom G-d has blessed him with. Yaakov asked for the sons to be brought to him, to be blessed.
- Yaakov’s eyes were getting old and as a result he could not see. The sons of Yosef were brought to Yaakov, and he kissed them and hugged them. Yaakov remarked “I had not even dreamed of seeing you and now I see your children.” Yosef removed the children from Yaakov’s knees and prostrated to the ground.
- Yaakov switches his hands: Yosef brought both sons, and positioned Ephraim to his right, to the left of Yisrael, and Menashe to his left, to the right of Yisrael. Yisrael placed his right hand on the head of Ephraim and his right hand on the head of Menashe. He moved his hand with intelligence, as Menashe was the firstborn.
- The blessing: Yaakov blessed Yosef and said “The G-d who has been with me and my forefathers, the angel who has redeemed me from all evil, he should bless the children and they should be called by my name and the name of my forefathers, Avraham and Yitzchak. They shall multiply on earth like fish.”
- Yosef attempts to realign the hands of his father: When Yosef saw that his father placed right hand on the head of Ephraim, it displeased him, and he went forward to remove his father’s right hand from the head of Ephraim and place it on the head of Menashe. Yosef said to his father that it is incorrect, as Menashe is the firstborn, and he deserves the right hand on his head. Yaakov refused, and told his son “I know my son that he too will become a nation, however his younger brother will be greater than him, and will multiply amongst the nations.”
- The blessing: Yaakov blessed the children that day, saying that the Jewish people will bless [their children] by saying “Let G-d place you like Ephraim and like Menashe” and he said Ephraim before Menashe.
- Yisrael told Yosef “I will die, and G-d will be with you, and return you the land of your forefathers. I am giving you Shechem, one portion more than your brothers, of which I took from the hand of the Emorites.”
- Yaakov’s final message to his children:
- What will occur in the end of days: Yaakov summoned his sons and asked them to assemble so they can be told what will occur in the end of days.
- Reuven’s final message from his father: “Reuvein, you are my first born. You are the first of my strength and vigor, and fit to be greater than all [your other brothers]. However, you were haste like water and caused your father’s bed to be defiled by interfering with your father’s bed. You will not be privileged to take more [than your other brothers].”
- Shimon and Levi’s final message from their father: “Shimon and Levi, brothers, who use stolen tools as weapons. Do not let my name be mentioned with their schemes, and in their congregation my honor will not take part. With their wrath they killed man, and in their wishes, they uprooted an ox. Let their wrath be cursed, as it is mighty. I will scatter them amongst Israel.”
- Yehuda’s final message from his father: “Yehuda, your brothers will acknowledge you. Your hand will be at the neck of your enemies, and your fathers sons will prostate themselves to you. Yehuda, you are a lions cub who ascended from prey. You crouch like a lion and who can lift you. The rod shall not depart from Yehuda, nor legislators from between his feet, until the arrival of Shilo. To him the nations will assemble. He ties the male donkey to the vine and the female donkey to the branch. He launders his clothing in wine and his robe in the blood of grapes. His eyes become red from the wine, and his teeth white from milk.”
- Zevulun’s final message from his father: “Zevulun, you shall dwell by the shores of the sea, and at the harbor of ships, until Tzidon.”
- Yissachar’s final message from his father: “Yissachar, you are a strong donkey resting between the city borders. He sees that his portion is good, and a land that is fertile. He will bend his shoulder to bear and will pay his dues by serving.”
- Dan’s final message from his father: “Dan will seek justice for his nation and the tribes of Israel will be as one. Dan will be a serpent on the road and a viper on the path that bites the heels of a horse and causes its rider to fall. For your salvation I await, G-d.”
- Gad’s final message from his father: “A battalion will sprout from Gad and he will troop backwards.”
- Asher’s final message from his father: “From Asher will come rich food and he will provide royal delicacies of a king.”
- Naftali’s final message from his father: “Naftali is a gazelle who runs quickly, for whom people give thanks and blessing.”
- Yosef’s final message from his father: “Yosef is a charming son, a charm to the eye. Girls stepped up to see him. They embittered him, fought with him, and the archers hated him. Nonetheless, he remained steadfast and became a shepherd, providing for Israel. Hashem will help you and bless you with the blessing of heavens and blessings of the depths below. Let the blessings of my father be upon your head.”
- Binyamin’s final message from his father: “Binyamin is a wolf who kills his prey. In the morning he eats his spoils and in the evening he distributes it.”
- All these are the tribes of Israel, 12 in number, and he blessed them, each according to his blessing.
- Yaakov’s instructs to be buried in Mearas Hamachpeila:
- Yaakov instructed his sons that after he passes away, he is to be buried in the Mearas Hamachpeila. This refers to the cave found in the field of Efron the Chiti, which was bought by Avraham from Efron. “My ancestors are buried there. Avraham and his wife Sarah was buried there. Yitzchak and his wife Rivka was buried there, and there I buried Leah.”
- Yaakov passes away:
- After Yaakov completed instructing his sons he placed his feet together on the bed and passed away.
- Yosef fell on his fathers face and cried on him and kissed him.
- The embalming: Yosef commanded his servants, the doctors, to embalm his father, and they did so.
- The mourning: After forty days of the embalming, the Egyptians mourned his passing for [a total of] seventy days.
- Yaakov is buried in Eretz Yisrael:
- Asking permission: After the mourning period, Yosef asked the house of Pharaoh for permission to fulfill his oath to his father, to bury him in the land of Canaan. Pharaoh agreed.
- The funeral procession: Yosef went to bury his father, and all the servants of Pharaoh came with him, and the elders of Egypt. All his and his father’s households, his brothers, came with him, and only the children and cattle remained in Goshen. It was a very large procession of people who came.
- The eulogy and mourning: When they arrived to Goren Haatad a great and heavy eulogy took place and they mourned Yaakov for seven days. The Cannanite nations took notice of the great funeral procession, and the mourning, and therefore name this place, Avel Mitzrayim.
- The burial: The children of Yaakov did as they were instructed and buried him in the Mearas Hamachpeila.
- Yosef and his brothers make peace with what they did to him:
- After the burial, Yosef, his brothers, and the entire funeral procession returned to Egypt.
- The brothers feared that now that their father has passed on, Yosef will hate them and take revenge against them for what they did. They thus connivingly told Yosef that prior to Yaakov’s death he told them to tell Yosef to forgive his brothers. When Yosef heard this he began to cry. His brothers also cried and they threw themselves before him offering themselves as slaves. Yosef assured them saying that he is not in the place of G-d, and that Hashem set up his kidnapping for the sake of him rising to his position to provide food for the people.
- Yosef then promised the brothers not to fear, as he will provide them and their families with food. Yosef comforted them.
- Yosef passes away:
- His years: Yosef lived a total of 110 years. He saw three generations from his son Ephraim. The sons of Machir, the son of Menashe, were raised on Yosef’s knees.
- Yosef’s final message to his brothers: Yosef told his brothers that he will die and that Hashem will remember them and take them out of Egypt to the land that was promised to Avraham, Yitzchak and Yaakov. Yosef made the brothers swear that when they leave Egypt they will take his bones with them.
- Yosef passed away at the age of 110. He was embalmed and placed in a coffin in Egypt.