Vayechi: A Quiet Life Abroad

December 28, 2012 By: Rabbi Jay Kelman
The story of Yosef begins, “and Jacob dwelled (vayeshev) in the land of his fathers, in the land of Canaan”. As the story of Joseph reaches its conclusion, the Torah tells us that “Jacob lived (vayechi) in the land of Egypt”.Jacob dwelled in Canaan, but lived in Egypt. Vayeshev, dwelling, denotes permanence, comfort and peace. Jacob, having run away from home many years earlier, had returned home to the land of his fathers. The rabbis,...
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VaYechi: Adding Numbers

January 06, 2012 By: Rabbi Jay Kelman
  Sefer Breisheet begins with the grandeur of creation, detailing the many new life forms, and with great hope for the human race. This hope was to be short-lived, with story after story of man's pettiness and propensity for evil. By the end of the book, the theme is that of death, and the stage is set for the enslavement of the Jewish people.   The opening verse of this week's parsha, “Jacob lived in the land...
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VaYechi: Dual Loyalty

January 09, 2009 By: Rabbi Jay Kelman
"If you really want to do me a kindness... act towards me with truth and kindness and do not bury me in Egypt" (47:29). So begins Yaakov's exhortation to Yosef as he realizes that the end is near. Though Yosef promised to carry out his father's request, Yaakov was not yet satisfied and demanded that Yosef take an oath that he would do as Yaakov asked. Could it really be that Yaakov could not trust his "favourite" son to carry out his will?...
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