Section: Parshas HaShavua   Category: Quick Vort
Parshas VaYechi: How Many Years Do You Owe To Your Parents?
"Yaakov lived in Mitzrayim for 17 years; and the days of Yaakov, the years of his life were 147 years". We know from Parshas VaYigash (47:9) that Yaakov was 130 years old when he came to Mitzrayim. Once the pasuk informs us that he lived the remainder of his life in Mitzrayim, it is not necessary to state that he remained in Mitzrayim for 17 years. Obviously, if he lived until the age of 147, he had to be in Mitzrayim for 17 years?

Daas Zekainim MiBaalei HaTosfos answer, the pasuk is stressing that Yosef repaid the kindness which Yaakov had bestowed upon him in his youth. Yosef lived by his father for 17 years until he was sold. During those years Yaakov took care of Yosef and fed him. Midah KiNeged Midah, Yosef supported his father for the last 17 years of his life. It is for this reason that the Torah stresses that Yaakov lived in Mitzrayim for 17 years - the years that Yosef was Mikayem the Midah KiNeged Midah.