Vayechi : Chapters vs. Verses

Well, we need rain, we weren’t getting rain, and now we had it.  Over the past week or so, it’s been raining, and boy did we get it in the past few days.  Non-stop pouring.  It’s been so much that it’s resulted in damage, and unfortunately, even a few deaths.


They say there is “gishmei bracha” and “gishmei klala,” rain which is a blessing and rain which is a curse.  And I guess we’re seeing it now.


What makes it so real, is that this is not Florida, for example, which gets hit with its hurricanes.  It’s Eretz Yisroel, where rain is considered a good sign on what Hashem is thinking about us right now.  On one hand, we’re getting the much needed rain; on the other, it seems to be coming with a slap in the face.


Hopefully, things will calm down and we can continue to get the gishmei bracha that we are davening for.


“Yaakov lived seventeen years in Egypt.  When the time drew near for Israel to die, he called for his son Joseph” (Bereishis 47:28). 


Out of all the forefathers, Yaakov is the one most identified with the Jewish people.  The women are often called Bnos Yaakov; the nation is called Bnei Yisroel; there’s Eretz Yisroel, Am Yisroel, etc.  Avraham and Yitzchok have their roles, but Yaakov and the nation seem to be more tied together.


Out of all the forefathers, it is Yaakov that seems to go through more trial and tribulation, and the Torah dedicates more time to show us the details.  He grew up with Eisav, bought his brachos from him, had to flee for his life, had to deal with Lavan on so many levels, run from Lavan, prepare for war with Eisav, deal with the incident with Dina, “losing Yosef,” children issues, etc. And how does the Torah end his life?  He lived seventeen years in Egypt, gave his brachos, and died.  Nothing happened to him in Egypt to write about?  No stories on how he raised his grandchildren?


That the Torah goes into so much detail with Yaakov’s life IS the reason that we are so connected to him.  His life was spent with trial after trial, battle after battle.  The Torah is telling us that THAT is what makes a Jew, his constant battle in life where the Yetzer Horah attempts to lead him to despair.


Each trial that Yaakov went through was different from the other.  Each one, a different lesson.


A Jew's mission in life is that of battle.  When we do battle against the Yetzer Horah, Hashem “goes into detail” with our lives.  But when we simply “live” and there is no battle, then Hashem gives a few lines.


May we all use our time and strength properly so we should have many chapters written about us.


Have a great Shabbos!