Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Thoughts on Parashat Vayechi

Blessing Menasseh and Ephraim

Morgan suggests that this is done in order to legitimize them in the eyes of the rest of the family despite his mother's heritage. This seems likely.

Jacob says they will be like Reuben and Simeon to him. Does he mean in place of? He has few kind words for his eldest sons.

His blessing of the lads finds its way into the Bedtime Shema, as does the "Adonai, I long for your salvation."

The image of Judah being a lion, with his hand on his enemies' scruff, delights me.

Two deaths - Jacob and Joseph.

Midrash maintains that up until his reunion with Joseph in Egypt, his life sucked. Hence "Jacob LIVED 17 years in Egypt." This was also the age Joseph was when his brothers, er, sold him down the river.

Jacobs Funeral - Women, Children, and Flocks are left behind. Compare with later departure from Egypt.

Joseph - asks that his bones return to Canaan. He was in Egypt on account of his brothers. His brothers descendants, in particular the Levite Moses, takes him out. Why a levite?

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