August 21, 2017 ~ Shabbat SHOFETIM. Maqam AJAM.

Shabbat Vayehi

Progress

ישמך אלהים כאפרים וכמנשה - When Joseph sees Jacob placing his right hand on the head of Ephraim and his left hand on the head of Menashe, he is displeased (וירע בעיניו). He tries to fix the situation by moving his father's hands to the proper positions, but Jacob insists that he is fully aware of what he is doing (ידעתי בני ידעתי). He wants Ephraim, the younger son, to realize that he has high potential to become great even though he is not the eldest. He also does this to monitor Menashe's reaction. A happy ending to the long story of feuding siblings is that Menashe passes the test by remaining quiet and not showing any signs of jealousy. It is then that Jacob declares "May the Lord make [the people of Israel] like Ephraim and Menashe;" brothers living in harmony with one another. Only after Israel witnesses the progress (peace between brothers), is he truly content with his life and ready to depart (Beth Torah, 1/14/17).

 


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