Chasidic Insights

on the Weekly Parsha

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by Zvi Akiva Fleisher

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Ch. 47, v. 28: "Va'yichi Yaakov" - Only after Yehudoh prepared an institute for the study of Torah in Egypt was Yaakov's life in that contaminated environment a life. (Baal Hatanya in Likutei Sichos)

Ch. 47, v. 28: "Va'yichi Yaakov b'eretz Mitzrayim" - Mitzrayim means boundaries and restraint. Only when a ben Yaakov lives his "artzius," - his physicality - with restraint, is his life a life. (Toldos Yaakov Yoseif)

Ch. 47, v. 29: "Al noh sik'b'reini b'Mitzroyim" - Rashi says that Yaakov was concerned to have his body interred in Egypt because there would be a plague of lice, and also that he should not be deified. When the plague of lice would come and not invade Goshen the Egyptians would credit it to Yaakov's being buried there and this would bring to their deifying him. (Imrei Emes) This seems contrary to the Rambam's words in his commentary to Pirkei Ovos 5:5, where he says that lice came to Goshen but they caused no harm.

Ch. 48, v. 14: "Si'keil es yodov" - Rashi in the name of Targum Onkeles says that "si'keil" means he made his hands act wisely. Yaakov's wisdom was not limited to his brain. He imbued his whole body with the wisdom of the Torah so that each organ and limb behaved properly. (Shem miShmuel)

Ch. 48, v. 15: "Va'y'vo'rech es Yoseif" - We only find Yaakov blessing Yoseif's sons and not Yoseif himself. The blessings that one's sons follow in their father's path is the greatest blessing a father can receive. (Rabbi Aharon Hagodol of Karlin in Beis Aharon)

Ch. 48, v. 20: "Va'y'voracheim ba'yom hahu" - His blessing was "ba'yom hahu," that they should only concern themselves with the present day, and not worry for the future. (Rabbi Moshe Leib of Sassov in Macha'zeh Avrohom)

Ch. 48, v. 20: "Va'yo'seim es Efrayim lifnei Menasheh" - The name Efrayim alludes to salvation, "ki hifrani Elokim." The name Menasheh alludes to difficulties, "ki noshani Elokim es kol amoli." It is therefore most understandable that Efrayim was placed ahead of Menasheh, as per the dictum, "Hashem prepares healing before He wounds." (Kedushas Levi)

Ch. 49, v. 1: "Asher yikro es'chem b'acharis ha'yomim" - The act of acquiring ownership of a large animal is through "meshichoh," - drawing the animal after the new master. This can be done either by calling it and having it move along, or by hitting it and thus making it move. At the end of days Hashem will draw us after him. Yaakov's prayer was that it will be through "yikro es'chem," that Hashem will draw you with words, and not ch"v through being hit. (Rabbi Shlomo of Radomsk in Tiferes Shlomo)

Ch. 49, v. 1: "B'acharis ha'yomim" - Rashi says that Yaakov wanted to disclose when the end of days would be, but the Holy Spirit left him and he was not able to do so. This came about through Yaakov's envisioning all the happenings that would take place leading to the end of days. When he saw all the tribulations that lied ahead he became gloomy. Since the Holy Spirit only rests on a person when he is in an elated state, it left him. (Shem miShmuel)


See also Sedrah Selections and Oroh V'Simchoh

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