Drash Cards for Toldot (5772)
by Marc Mangel
• This drash could also be given on VaYechi. We do not say “May God make you like Esau and Jacob” but “like Ephraim and Menashe.
• I will offer classical, kabbalistic, and Zionist explanations.
• Classical: Ephraim and Menashe are the first brothers not to fight.
• Kabbalastic: Abraham represents chesed, Isaac represents gevurah, which are opposite traits battling each other.
• The chain Abraham to Isaac to Jacob to Joseph to Ephraim and Menashe shows that it takes a long time for the sefirot to balance each other in harmony.
• Back to the classical: In contrast to each of Jacob’s sons, the traits of Ephraim and Menahse are not clearly defined, they are successfully blended.
• Zionist: Ephraim and Menashe grew up in assimilated Egyptian society. The blessing is asking God to make them Jews/Israelites
• My father, who came from an assimilated family in Vienna, would marvel when in Israel, looking around and saying “They are all Jews”
• Next time in Israel, go to be big mall like the Grand Kenyon in Haifa or the Malka in Jerusalem. Sit, drink a cup of coffee or a glass of wine and look around. “They are all Jews” – that’s why we bless to be like Ephraim and Menashe.