Friday 29 December 2023

Shabbos Tzetl: Vayechi

7:16pm - Early candle lighting
8:27pm - Candle Lighting, Friday
9:32pm - Havdalah, Saturday
(Melbourne Australia)
Eruv Status: KOSHER
Shabbat Shalom! 

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Please click here to view the Yeshivah Shule Tzetel for Shabbos Chazak Parshas Vayechi. Please click here to view the PDFs of Weekly Publications.


Genesis 47:28–50:26
The name of the Parshah, "Vayechi," means "And he lived" and it is found in Genesis 47:28.

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.


It came to pass, after these things, that it was said to Joseph: Behold, your father is ill (48:1)

Abraham introduced aging to the world, Isaac affliction, and Jacob illness.

Abraham requested old age, pleading before G‑d: "Master of the Universe! When a man and his son enter a town, none know whom to honor." Said G‑d to him: "By your life, you have asked a proper thing, and it will commence with you." Thus, from the beginning of the Book aging is not mentioned, but when Abraham came, old age was granted to him, as is written: "And Abraham was old and come along in days" (Genesis 24:1).

Isaac asked for affliction, pleading thus: "Master of the Universe! When a man dies without affliction, Judgment threatens him; but if You afflict him, Judgment would not threaten him." Said G‑d to him: "By your life, you have asked well, and it will commence with you." Thus affliction is not mentioned from the beginning of the Book until Isaac, as is written: "It came to pass that when Isaac was old, his eyes were dimmed" (ibid. 27:1).

Jacob requested illness, saying to Him: "Master of the Universe! A man dies without previous illness, and does not settle his affairs with his children; but if he were two or three days ill, he would settle his affairs with his children." Said G‑d to him: "By your life, you have asked well, and it will commence with you." Thus it is written: "It was said to Joseph: Behold, your father is ill."

(Midrash Rabbah)

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