Vayechi 5773

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

We learn from Yaakov's death that one's legacy can live on after death. The Gemara (Taanis 5b) says that Yaakov did not die. How is this so? Doesn't the posuk says that they eulogized him, buried him and embalmed him? Rather, this means to say that Yaakov did in fact die, but he stays alive through his descendants. Just as his descendants are alive, so too Yaakov is alive. One could this to mean that if we continue in the ways of Yaakov (his middos and virtues) we keep Yaakov "alive" in all of us.

Vayigash 5773

Thursday, December 20, 2012

When the Torah goes through the 70 descendants of Yaakov who went to Mitzrayim they are called souls(nefashos); however, the pesukim always use the singular tense (nefesh). The Kli Yakar explains that this is to show us that Yosef and his brothers are united now and have become one big soul again. Both Yosef and his brothers removed any bad feelings between them. The pesukim are telling us of their righteousness in that regard. We should learn from their wonderful example. Our unity will lead to great things.

Mikeitz 5773

Thursday, December 13, 2012

When the famine hits Eretz Canaan, Yaakov sends his sons down to Mitzrayim for food. This is when he "sees" that there is food ("shever" in Hebrew) there. However, he later says he "hears" that there's food. Rashi (42:1) explains that Yaakov saw through a "holy lense" that there still is hope ("sever") in Mitzrayim. Rashi is telling us that even when things don't look so great Hashem gives us a spark of hope in some form. We should always try to stay positive and look for the good in every situation.

Vayeishev 5773

Thursday, December 6, 2012

We all know the story of how Yosef was sold as a slave by his brothers. However, this famous view of Rashi's is not universally accepted. The Rashbam says the brothers in fact did NOT sell Yosef; rather, it was the Midianites who were passing through (37:28). One question that arises is when Yosef later reveals himself to his brothers in Mitzrayim, he claims that they sold him and not the Midianites. Rashbam answers this by explaining that Yosef meant that their actions (throwing him into a pit) led to his begin sold as a slave by the Midianites.
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