Torah Tidbits

25 April 2014 / 25 Nisan 5774
Issue 1027
Shabbat Parshat Vaychi
December 27, 2012

Portion of the Portion

Do not bury me in Egypt (America)

Although this week’s portion is titled VAYCHI - he lived - the portion actually recounts both the death of Yaakov (49:33) and Yosef (50:26) as well as a remembrance of Rachel’s death (48:7).
What is interesting to note is both Yaakov and Yosef give orders to their family members not to bury them in Egypt, but rather to bury them in Israel. Yaakov asks his son Yosef to bury him in Me’arat HaMachpeila with his forefathers (47:29). After his death, that is exactly what happened with all of his sons traveling to Israel to bury him in the family tomb (50:12-13).
Yosef also wants to buried in Israel, but he knows that he is about to die and that the nation of Israel will soon become enslaved by the Egyptians. He also knows that eventually G-d will PAKOD YIFKOD ETCHEM - grant them special providence and finally redeem them. So he makes them swear that when the nation is finally redeemed they should take his bones out of Egypt with them to bury them in Israel (50:25). This is exactly what happened - during the Exodus from Egypt while everyone was preparing to leave, Moshe made sure to take Yosef’s bones with him (Shmot 13:19).
My father z"l who lived his whole life in America, though he tried once to find a job in Israel, also chose to be buried in Israel. He was not much of a talker and, living far away from him for many years, I missed out many opportunities to hear the few messages he would have wanted to impart. But with his death he gave over a very loud message in a very quiet way. He had been sick for many years and he and my mother had decided that although they had not been able to live their lives in Israel they wanted to be buried here. True it would have been better if my father had been able to come earlier - but unfortunately that is not always possible for everyone - look at Yosef who had to spend so many years both during his life as well as his death in the land of Egypt. But choosing to be buried here, where two of his children and many grandchildren can visit his grave teaches all of us the importance of Eretz Yisrael as a family heritage.
Where we are born is out of our control, but those of us who plan ahead can choose where they will be buried. This choice says a lot about a person. These last requests to our children are a reflection of our values and part of the legacy we leave behind.

BURIED TREASURE MUFFINS
1 cup flour
1/2 cup oats
1/4 cup sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 cup jam
3/4 cup soy milk
1/4cup oil
1 egg

Stir together flour, oats, sugar, baking powder and salt. In another bowl, break the egg and mix it with the soy milk and oil. Add the liquid mixture to the dry mixture and stir until just mixed (will be lumpy). Fill paper lined muffin tins half way, then put a teaspoon of jam in the center, leaving an edge of batter all around. Then add about a tablespoon more batter to completely cover the jam. Bake at 200C for 20 to 25 minutes.

In This Issue of Torah Tidbits

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