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(5736) The name of the Parsha "Vayechi (Yaakov)" even though the subject is concerning his passing;
Three reasons ( Ber Rab Beg. of Parsha) "why this Parsha is closed" (why there is no space between Parshas VaYigash and Parshas VaYechi in the Sefer Torah) and why Rashi omits the third reason.



When Jews observe Torah and mitzvos in the time of Exile, but when the state of the Exile is such that one openly feels the keitz, the Redemption, when one knows and comprehends the keitz, feeling, “enough of Exile,” wanting the redemption, wanting to leave Exile  — even this situation cannot be described as a Jew’s complete “va’yechi,” that is, when a Jew is truly alive.

But when the servitude and tribulations of Exile are so great that human intellect doesn’t begin to fathom how one can possibly be redeemed – “nistam ha’keitz” (the keitz is concealed) — yet one fully believes that the Redemption will come, to the point of, “I await him every day that he will come,” when under these trying circumstances of Exile a person learns Torah and fulfills mitzvos, it is clear proof that Torah and mitzvos are a Jew’s true life-energy. That is why the years Yaakov lived in Mitzrayim are described as “va’yechi” (and as it states, “he is alive,” because “his children are alive”).

(From http://www.beismoshiach.org/Moshiach/Yom_Yom/YY266.htm)

The Name of the Parsha
Vayechi means, “and he lives” – rather an inappropriate name, it would seem, for a Parsha which speaks almost entirely about the events surrounding Ya’akov’s passing!

What is life? The Torah teaches us: “You are connected to God, your God, are all alive today” (Devarim 4:4). I.e. true life means to be connected to Gad.

Of course, a Jew is inherently connected to God, but in order for that connection to be visible and apparent in the world, God sends the Jew trials and challenges in his Divine Service. When these hurdles are overcome we then have proof  that the connection between a Jew and God is an unbreakable one.

Thus, we are only aware that a person is really alive when he is about to pass away. For only then is it evident that all the trials and tribulations of life were intended to highlight and express the powerful bond of the Jew to Torah and mitzvos. So, only when reaching Parshas Vayechi do we finally witness that Ya’akov indeed lived.

The Talmud states, “Just as his descendants are alive, he too is alive” (Ta’anis 5a). For the true commitment of a person to Judaism is ultimately only discernable when we see his children and grandchildren steadfast in their observance of Torah and mitzvos.

(From http://maplewoodjewishcenter.org/page.asp?pageID=%7B618C6A58-EDE1-47E9-A12A-D888B0530D12%7DBased on likkutei Sichos vol. 15, pp. 427ff.)





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