Tag Archives | Parsha Vayechi

Parashat Vayechi | D’varim HaMakom: The JOFEE Fellows Blog

by Rachel Aronson, Hazon – New York, NY Parsha Vayechi tells a story of transition and change. Jacob, lying on his deathbed, calls his sons to his side. Each of his sons, along with Joseph’s sons Ephraim and Menasheh, receive an individual blessing– and some punishments for bad behavior. The blessings recall each person’s individual talents, and lay the groundwork for the creation of the Twelve Tribes. This is not the first time that brothers have gathered around to be blessed, and, compared to other biblical siblings, Vayechi shows an admirable model of coexistence. Earlier in the Torah, difference between siblings has led to warfare- Cain committing the first murder of his brother, Abel; Isaac receiving a blessing while Ishmael is thrown from his home; Jacob stealing the birthright from his twin, Esav. Even this story started with Joseph being sold into slavery, his coat stolen, betrayed by his brothers. But upon Jacob’s death, a different tone emerges about brotherly love. For the first time, difference is made into a positive- twelve tribes with twelve different blessings, destined to fulfill the role of priests, schoolteachers, olive-growers, etc. Participants in the Westchester Jewish Greening Group prepare to March for Clean Energy in […]

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