Torah Tidbits

21 April 2014 / 21 Nisan 5774
Issue 1027
Shabbat Parshat Vaychi
December 27, 2012

Divrei Menachem

Divrei Menachem

Our story this week is, in essence, the continuing story of the first Jewish exile. We hear the term “exile” and we know that this term augers not well for the Jewish people. Indeed, with Yaakov’s passing from this world in Eretz Mitzrayim, the ugly oppression began to unfold.
Explaining the reasons why the expected space between this and last week’s parsha is not present in the Torah text, our rabbis mention that, while on his deathbed,  Yaakov had the potential to predict the time of the redemption to his sons - but, lo!, this was concealed from him. And now that Ya’akov had gone, events overwhelmed the people so rapidly that with the tragic loss of prophecy and its promise to bring solace to an oppressed people, came the attendant negative manifestations of dispersion in a foreign country.  Yes, Bnei Yisrael became so conditioned to the circumstances that seemingly, in no time, they were, “fruitful, teeming, increasing, and becoming stronger, so much so that the land became filled with them.”
No wonder then that both Yaakov and Yosef insisted that when their time came they were to be buried in Eretz Yisrael. Yosef, with all his majesty, and Yaakov, in his exalted status, both knew that they did not belong in Egypt, in exile. They both testified for all time that the rightful place for a Jew - even in death - is Eretz Yisrael.

Shabbat Shalom, Menachem Persoff

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