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Torah Insights for the Younger Tzadikim
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Vayechi 5761
Jan 07 - 13, 2001 by Reb Yosef

Yaakov Starts Something

Torah Insights for the Younger Tzadikim

In this Parashah, Yosef (Joseph) is speaking with his father Yaakov (Jacob) who is dying and needs to accomplish a few things, one of which is blessing Yosef's two children Ephraim and Menasheh. 

At Perek Mem-Chet (Chapter 48), pasuk chav (verse 20), it says the following: 

20. So he blessed them that day, saying, "By you shall Israel bless saying, 'May God make you like Ephraim and like Manasseh' " -- and he put Ephraim before Manasseh: 

Do these words sound at all familiar to you?  I'll do my best to transliterate them for you. 

Y'simchah Elokim k'Ephraim v ch'Menasheh 

Now do these words sound familiar? 

For daughters, it would be: 

            Y'simeach Elokim k'Sarah, Rivkah, Rachel, v'Leah. 

The two phrases translated are: 

            May God make you like Ephraim and Menasheh (for boys) 

and 

            May God make you like Sarah, Rivkah, Rachel, and Leah (for girls). 

This is where the blessing that your fathers say to you on Shabbat comes from - from this very point of the Torah.  When Yaakov blessed the two sons of Yosef, he commanded that the blessing be handed down from generation to generation from then on.  And it has.

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Translations in Torah Portions of the week are partially taken from the ArtScroll Stone Edition Chumash and from Rav Samson Raphael Hirsch Chumash

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