When you Choose Shabbat, you choose to learn that every Shabbat is different and special. This week I learned about Parashat Veyechi aka Vaychi or Vayhi (Genesis 47:28 through 50:26) is the 12th weekly Torah portion in the annual cycle of Torah readings, concluding Genesis. According to Wikipedia, Veyechi contains 4,448 Hebrew letters, 1,158 words, 85 verses and 148 lines of the Torah Scroll. Veyechi, (וַיְחִי), translated as “and he lived“, tells the story of of Jacob’s request for burial in Canaan, Jacob’s blessing of Joseph’s sons Ephraim and Manasseh, Jacob’s blessing of his sons, Jacob’s death and burial and Joseph’s death.
Rabbi Michael D Klein of Temple Torat Emet offers his insights on this week’s Torah reading, Veyechi:
Sedra Veyechi demonstrates the love that Yosef had for his father Yaakov. What is the ultimate example of this honor for his father? Why are Joseph’s brothers afraid of after the death of Yaakov? How does Joseph allay their fears?
Yaakov’s blessing to his children is not always positive. (Shimon and Levi as examples) Is it possible to overcome or change the direction of a blessing which is not positive? For how many years does Joseph rule as viceroy over Egypt? How can his rule be viewed as having both positive and negative results?
At the conclusion of the Sedra, we see that Joseph is preparing for his own passing. What promise does he require of his fellow Israelites and who fulfills it? How does he know where to look? It is obvious, that even after 80 years of leadership, Yosef knows that he wishes to be buried in Eretz Yisroel. What lesson is he trying to teach us about our connection to Eretz Yisroel?
We end the first book of the Torah with the words Chazak, Chazak, Venitchzek. May we be strengthened to again learn its lessons for another year.
Rabbi Michael D. Klein attended Yeshiva College of South Florida and served as Torah Reader, Hebrew teacher, Chazzan and spiritual leader of various synagogues throughout South Florida. In January 2015 he became Ritual Director, Bnai/Bnot Mitzvah instructor and 7th grade Hebrew instructor for Temple Torat Emet of Boynton Beach. In October 2019 he was accepted into an accelerated track and received his shicha from Yeshiva Adath Wolkowisk and has been the Rabbinic leadership of Temple Torat Emet since August 2020. In September of 2022 he was appointed Rabbinic and Spiritual Advisor of the Florida Region of FJMC.
Choose Shabbat; choose to celebrate, to light candles, sing songs and learn a little Torah.
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