Vol 1.22 - Vayechi Spanish French Audio Video
With this week's Torah reading, Vayechi, we conclude the Book of Genesis. Before our Patriarch Jacob passed away he called all his children over to his deathbed. The Torah portion of Vayechi relates the blessings Jacob gave to each of the Twelve Tribes.
The blessing Jacob bestowed upon Asher was as follows: "Out of Asher his bread shall be fat full of oil." Moses, too, gave Asher a similar blessing: "And he shall dip his foot in oil." The literal meaning is that Asher would be blessed with so much oil that he would be able to immerse his foot in it.
It has been explained many times that everything that exists in the physical world has a spiritual counterpart. In truth, an object's physical existence is derived from its spiritual reality, and not the other way around.
What does "And he shall dip his foot in oil" mean in the spiritual sense?
The Talmud explains that oil is an allusion to chochma (wisdom), the highest function of the human being. The foot, by contrast, is symbolic of man's lowest level, and alludes to kabalat ol, the acceptance of the yoke of heaven.
This contains a lesson for us to apply in our Divine service:
Oil, chochma, is symbolic of the study of Torah, which involves a person's intellect and understanding. The foot is symbolic of our service of G-d with kabalat ol, i.e., obeying the Torah's commandments simply because G-d wants us to. Moreover, the foot is the foundation and support of the entire structure.
Here we see an astounding thing: Serving G-d with acceptance of the yoke of heaven has a very distinct advantage over serving Him with our intellectual capacities, for the mind is by nature a limited creation. When a Jew serves G-d out of a sense of subservience he can attain far higher levels than when he serves Him utilizing his powers of comprehension.
Furthermore, it is precisely the service of accepting the yoke of heaven that constitutes our preparation for the Final Redemption. For when Moshiach comes, the advantage of this type of service will be revealed in its totality.
May it be G-d's will that by serving G-d with true kabalat ol we will merit the coming of our Righteous Moshiach, speedily in our day.
15. Regarding the reward which comes through the service of Asher (the acceptance of the Heavenly Yoke that will reveal in the future G-ds Kingship)- The Midrash says about this in today’s portion “From Asher his bread shall be fat- that he shall produce eight garments” (the word for fat is related to the word for eight) this is how Rashi also interprets (in his second explanation) on the verse “Let him be acceptable to his brothers, that his (Asher’s) daughters were very beautiful… they married the High Priests” – (who go in eight- the eight (Priestly) garments.)
What type of connection does “Beautiful daughters” have with the High Priests? We must say, that this concept of beauty here means a spiritual beauty, that is related to the High Priesthood.
The concept of women is “I will make a helper for him”, an aid for the man in his service. And as we find this in the concept of the service of the High Priest especially, that during his service on Yom Kippur in the inner most sanctuary, it was relevant that (there be) “atoning for himself and for his house” (the “house” here) is his wife, and without this he couldn’t do his service.
The true beauty of a Jewish woman the “As well as every honorable princess who dwells indoors.” That this means the concept of modesty- this brings and helps the High Priesthood.
And through what (does) one merit this - through the service of “judge my case,” when one’s behavior is with acceptance of the (Heavenly) Yoke according to the Shulchan Aruch, and included (in this is) the concept of modesty, one merits to establish a generation of righteous children with children and grandchildren that are occupied with Torah and Mitzvahs, up until (having children that are) High Priests i.e. children that enter into the Holy of Holies, that there, there is only the Holy Ark and The Tablets upon which are engraved the Ten Commandments, (which are) not written with ink which is an added material on top of the parchment, rather (they are) engraved on the Tablets, that he and the Torah are one thing.
16. According to this we will also understand, what it says previously in the verse “Asher is blessed with sons” Rashi brings in the name of the Sifri, “None of the Tribes was as blessed with children like Asher,” and Rashi says on this, “And I don’t know how this was the case”.
Rashi says “And I don’t know how this was the case”, since in the counting of the children of Israel we do not see that in the tribe of Asher there should be a greater number than in the other tribes.
One needs to explain the words of The Sifri according to the words of our sages, “He is equal to…” that he outweighs all the other tribes because of the special quality that exists by him, and in our concept it means, the great amount of pride (that Asher had) from (his) children. Through acting with acceptance of the (Heavenly) Yoke in educating (ones children) in this manner, one merits children which go in the way of Torah and Mitzvahs…and one has from them much pride, much much more (than someone else might have) from a lot of children.
With this it is understood what is stated: “I multiplied his seed and gave him Yitzchak” The Rebbe (Rashab OB”M) asks: He (G-d) says and I multiplied his seed, and it finishes by saying an only son, Yitzchak? Rather the concept is as explained, that one can have pride from one (child) more than from many to the extent that it can be one (child), and (he) is equal to 600,000, just as Moses our teacher was equal to all of (the people of) Israel, and there isn’t any generation without someone like Moshe, and the (bearing of) such a child, is merited through the service of acceptance of the Yoke specifically.
17. The connection of meriting to (having) good children with the service of acceptance of the Yoke, we will understand from that which is stated in the Midrash, that before the giving of The Torah G-d demanded from the Jews, that they should provide collateral (that they would keep the Torah), The Jews offered many guarantors, but G-d did not accept them until the Jews said “Our children will be our guarantors”-
The explanation of this is: throughout the years of a man’s life there are various stages: “The age of five for Torah study etc.” as the Mishnah accounts in Avos (Ethics of our Fathers) chapter five all the stages explicitly, until one comes to complete intellect that this one receives at the age of 20 years. As it is known the differences between the age of 6, 13 and 20, and also after (the age of 20) there are many levels. And (in this context) children are in the level of a foot.
And since all Jews are one complete entity (body), consequently as by every (physical body) the foot individually holds up the head (physically), and also in spirituality it is acceptance of the Yoke (that) holds up intellect, so too in macro Israel the feet effect also in the head.
And as above stated, that the camp of Dan, the level of the foot, had given a completion also to the other camps. And just as in all concepts we needed to have the (help and support of) the feet, so too by the giving of The Torah, and therefore the giving of The Torah to all of Jews was through the guaranteeing of children specifically. Since children the level of the foot are the foundation of the entire Jewish People. And as he concludes there in the Midrash, “Out of the mouths of babes and suckling’s you have founded strength.”
According to this we can explain the connection between good children and Acceptance of the Yoke, since both are on the level of the foot, as mentioned earlier, therefore one merits through conducting (oneself) with acceptance of the yoke, children and grandchildren who occupy themselves with Torah and Mitzvah.
Parshas Vayechi In this week's Torah portion, the last in the Book of B'reshis, Yaakov blesses each of his twelve sons before he passes away.
The blessing gave to Asher, according to the Midrash (Ber. Raba 98:16) is that his offspring will wear the eight garments of the High Priest. Similarly Rashi, comments on the blessing Moses gave Asher (Deut. 33:24) that the girls born to his tribe will be beautiful and will marry Cohanim Godolim (High Priests).
At first glance this is not understood. The Cohen Godol was the holiest person in Israel obviously external beauty would not be a deciding factor in his choice of a wife so it must have been a spiritual beauty that was possessed by the women of the tribe of Asher.
If so, we can ask exactly what type of spiritual beauty was this, why did specifically the daughters of Asher have it and what has it got to do with the High Priest?
The job of every Jewish man is to serve G-d while the woman was created to not only serve G-d but to help her husband in his task as well.
This is especially true regarding the Cohen Godol and his wife.
The Cohen Godol was the most important Jew; he represented all the Jews when he entered the Holy of Holies on Yom Kippur and brought forgiveness for all Israel.
But before this the Torah tells us that he "Brought forgiveness for himself and his 'house'(Lev. 47:6) namely; And the Talmud (Yoma 2a) explains that 'his house' refers to his wife! Namely that it is through his wife that he merits to such holiness.
And this is the true beauty spoken of here; inward 'modesty' and total devotion (Kabalat Ol) to G-d. Namely; living according to the laws of the Torah (Shulchan Aruch) rather than following natural urges. As King David said in Psalms "The glory of the King's daughter is inward." (45:14)
This 'modesty' of the women of Asher implies judging oneself constantly (Asher was one of the three tribes composing the 'camp of Dan' and Dan implies judgment 'din') to see if one's life is according to the Shulchan Aruch; the Book of Jewish Law.
And this modest 'inwardness' of his wife is what helps the High Priest to enter 'inward' to the Holy of Holies.
And furthermore; a woman that acts in such a way will merit to have children that also adhere to the will of the Creator, until the highest level; Namely to become High Priests that enter the Holy of Holies where the Tablets in which the Ten Commandments are carved are found.
In other words, just as the letters were carved in and united with the tablets so also will the Torah and its commandments be totally united in their hearts. (Her children will not treat Judaism as something additional to their lives like letters on parchment)
With this we can understand what Rashi comments in on the sentence "Blessed with children is Asher"(Deut. 33:24) "There was no tribe blessed with children like Asher but I don't know in which way." The reason Rashi says he doesn't know is because we don't find written anywhere that the children of Asher had any special revealed qualities. But in fact they did possess one inward quality even greater than the children of any other tribe; namely the satisfaction they provided their parents. But it was not revealed because often one child who totally is united with Torah and its commandments can provide more pride and joy to his parents than a thousand others.
As we also see in the Hagadda of Passover when it states "G-d Multiplied the offspring of Abraham and gave him Isaac'. In other words; Isaac; although he was only one single child…. was called 'multiplied' because of the great satisfaction that he provided his father Abraham.
To the degree that Moses, although he was only one person, was equal to the entire population of the Jewish nation; six hundred thousand! And this was no one-time historical occurrence; in EVERY generation there must be one person equal to Moses (Berashis Raba 56:6) and such a child can be 'earned' by the modesty and 'Kabalat Ol' of his parents, especially his mother.
The connection between modesty and good children can be understood when we consider that both are the foundation of the Jewish people.
Regarding the children it says in another Midrash (Shir HaShirim Raba 1:4:1) that before G-d gave the Torah on Mt. Sinai he demanded guarantors that the Jews treat His Torah properly. The Jews suggested the prophets, the Torah Scholars and more, but G-d found fault with all of them until they suggested their children and G-d agreed and gave the Torah. The only guarantors that were acceptable were the children. This is because children possess the most basic level of service of the Creator (see Chapters of the Fathers 5:22).
Indeed, the Jewish people are as one person (G-d called them 'My Son' Ex. 4:22 in the singular) the wise men are the head and the children are like the feet. Just as a body, including the head, is supported and transported by the feet so also the children support and elevate all the Jews to the point that only they, with their simple acceptance of the Torah, could be guarantors.
Similarly, modesty and Kabalat Ol are the most basic levels of unquestioning service of G-d, and that was why the women of the tribe of Asher (who possessed this quality) merited children, who also had this quality.
o also we today; through our modest, simple service of the Creator will give birth to children and grandchildren occupied in Torah and Commandments. But even most important, we will merit to the revelation of the ultimate Jew; Moshiach who will bring all the Jews back to Judaism. Then all mankind will serve the Creator… it depends on us to bring… Moshiach NOW!
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