Shabbat Parashat Vayechi | 5770
Vayechi | 16Tevet 5770 | 1/2/2010
Perhaps the central theme of our parasha is the berachot Yaakov gave his sons. Yehuda received an important one, being promised that leadership will not stray from his descendants (Bereishit 49:8-10). Yosef (and his full brother Binyamin whom, we have explained elsewhere, share one destiny to a great degree) must wait until the end of the blessing receivers (ibid. 22-26). The blessing describes how Yosef had to withstand the challenges from his brothers, but received blessings that exceeded those Yaakov received from his parents. It also refers to the “head of Yosef and the kodkod (head) of the crown of his brothers,” which represents the leadership of the nation.
I saw in a recent Ask the Rabbi column of yours a discussion of the issue of leaning while receiving an aliya. I think you overlooked a very important problem, as there is a definite prohibition to receive benefit from the shulchan (the table the sefer Torah sits on), which is a tashmish kedusha (an object used to serve something holy).
Rav Yitzchak said: Whoever speaks negatively about the deceased is like one who speaks about a rock. Some say that this is because they do not know [what he said]; some say that they know but do not care.
Last time, we introduced the concept of interrogation of witnesses, which included two different types: chakirot and bedikot, and some of the possible reasons for them.
This week in the Daf Yomi the Mishna (133b) states that although one can give all of his assets to others and thus leave nothing for his sons, the Sages are not pleased with such conduct. According to Rashbag, if the sons do not behave properly, it is proper not to leave them anything. However, the Gemara states that the Chachamim disagree with Rashbag and claim that even among one's sons it is not proper to give the portion of an evil son to a righteous one.
This week’s Hemdat Yamim is dedicated in loving memory of
A weekly divrei Torah leaflet: A Glimpse at the Parasha, Ask the Rabbi, From the writings of Harav Avraham Yitzchak Hakohen Kook, zt”l, Pninat Mishpat (Jewish Monetary Law).