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Section: Parshas HaShavua   Category: Life Lessons
Parshas Vayechi: Yaakov's Resorts To Plan "B"
Rashi informs us that Parshas Vayechi is “Sesumah”, meaning that there is no separation in the Torah between Parshas Vayigash and Parshas Vayechi. As this is an anomaly, it begs for an explanation; Rashi offers two of them. He explains that the parsha sesuma is symbolic of the idea that once Yaakov Avinu was niftar, the eyes and hearts of the Yidden became closed from the pain and suffering that they began to endure in Mitzrayim. The second explanation, is that Yaakov Avinu desired to reveal the date of the arrival of Moshiach (5769, hopefully), but it became closed from him; i.e. he was not allowed to disclose that information to his children.  

While this follows the simple explanation of Rashi, we would like to offer another p’shat on the homiletic approach.  

Yaakov Avinu was like any other caring father, always looking out for the good of his children and future doros, whenever possible. When it became apparent to him that the Bnei Yisrael will have to endure a long and bitter galus, one where their very eyes and hearts will actually be dulled toward Avodas Hashem due to the severity of their galus; he felt that the way to empower Klal Yisrael was to reveal to them how long it would be before their Avodas Hashem can once again reach maximum potential with the coming of Moshiach and lifting of the physical and spiritual bondage. However, in shomayim it was decreed otherwise. So what then would a father do to prepare his children for a journey of millennia? It was after Yaakov had wanted to reveal the keitz and was denied that he chose another route – he would empower his children by revealing to them their true inner strengths and capabilities and bless them for all time that their children would possess these qualities as well (see Pesachim 4b for an illustration). Additionally, he got them to acknowledge the Oneness of Hashem together which taught them that only as one unit would they achieve to perceive Hashem and His ways. It was then that Yaakov was assured that Klal Yisrael will survive – and thrive. 

It seems sometimes that we just want to know when it will all end. Tatte Libba, how much longer and how much more will Klal Yisrael, and each individual ‘Reb Yisrael’, endure before you bring us back home? That we cannot know – it is hidden from us. However, what was revealed is our inner strength as Bnei Yisrael – Yaakov’s children – and that we can tackle anything because we were empowered by Yaakov Avinu to recognize those strengths and act upon it.  

A king that sends out his subjects without proper armory and weaponry would be considered cruel and inhumane. Dare we think for a moment that Hashem, the Avinu HaRachamon, would send us in such a dor with multiple nisyonos, and some very difficult ones at that, without the ability to ward off those challenges? We are strong; let us go from strength to strength, seeing to it to maintain our inner strength and our achdus, and you and I will live to see great days coming ahead. Amen.        L’zchus Boruch ben Miriam

RELATED ARTICLES:Birchas Yaakov  galus  life lesson  Parshas Vayechi

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