Friday 1 January 2021

Shabbos Tzetl: Vayechi

7:17pm - early candle lighting
8.27pm - Candle Lighting, Friday
9.32pm - Havdalah, Saturday
These times are for Melbourne, Victoria, Australia.
Eruv Status: KOSHER
Shabbat Shalom! 

Please click here to view the Yeshivah Shule Tzetel for Shabbos Chazak, Parshas Vayechi.

Please click here to view the PDFs of the Weekly Publications previously distributed in Shule each Shabbos.

Genesis 47:28–50:26

Jacob lives the final 17 years of his life in Egypt. Before his passing, he asks Joseph to take an oath that he will bury him in the Holy Land. He blesses Joseph's two sons, Manasseh and Ephraim, elevating them to the status of his own sons as progenitors of tribes within the nation of Israel.

The patriarch desires to reveal the end of days to his children, but is prevented from doing so.

Jacob blesses his sons, assigning to each his role as a tribe: Judah will produce leaders, legislators and kings; priests will come from Levi, scholars from Issachar, seafarers from Zebulun, schoolteachers from Simeon, soldiers from Gad, judges from Dan, olive-growers from Asher, and so on. Reuben is rebuked for "confusing his father's marriage bed"; Simeon and Levi, for the massacre of Shechem and the plot against Joseph. Naphtali is granted the swiftness of a deer, Benjamin the ferociousness of a wolf, and Joseph is blessed with beauty and fertility.

A large funeral procession consisting of Jacob's descendants, Pharaoh's ministers, the leading citizens of Egypt and the Egyptian cavalry accompanies Jacob on his final journey to the Holy Land, where he is buried in the Machpelah Cave in Hebron.

Joseph, too, dies in Egypt, at the age of 110. He, too, instructs that his bones be taken out of Egypt and buried in the Holy Land, but this would come to pass only with the Israelites' exodus from Egypt many years later. Before his passing, Joseph conveys to the Children of Israel the testament from which they will draw their hope and faith in the difficult years to come: "G‑d will surely remember you, and bring you up out of this land to the land of which He swore to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob."

I Kings 2:1-12.

In this week's haftorah, King David delivers his deathbed message to his son and successor, Solomon, echoing this week's Torah reading that discusses at length Jacob's parting words and instructions to his sons.

King David encourages Solomon to be strong and to remain steadfast in his belief in G‑d. This will ensure his success in all his endeavors as well as the continuation of the Davidic Dynasty. David then goes on to give his son some tactical instructions pertaining to various people who deserved punishment or reward for their actions during his reign.

The haftorah concludes with David's death and his burial in the City of David. King Solomon takes his father's place and his sovereignty is firmly established.


Jacob lived in the land of Egypt seventeen years (47:28)

These seventeen years were the best years of his life—years of prosperity, goodness and peace; his other 130 years were filled with toil and pain.

(Midrash; Baal HaTurim)

When Rabbi Menachem Mendel of Lubavitch (1789–1866) was a child attending cheder, his teacher taught the verse "Jacob lived for seventeen years in the land of Egypt" according to the commentary of the Baal HaTurim—that Jacob lived the best years of his life in Egypt.

When the child came home, he asked his grandfather Rabbi Schneur Zalman of Liadi: How can it be that our father Jacob, the greatest of the Patriarchs, lived the best years of his life in pagan Egypt?

Replied Rabbi Schneur Zalman: It is written that Jacob "sent Judah ahead of him . . . to show the way to Goshen" (Genesis 46:28). The Midrash explains that this was to establish a house of learning, where the sons of Jacob would study Torah. When one studies Torah, one is brought close to G‑d, so that even in Egypt one can live a true "life."

(HaYom Yom)



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