Drash Cards for VaYechi (ca 5760)
by Marc Mangel
• Yaakov calls for Yosef and his sons and then first blesses Manasseh and Ephraim (Ch 48, v 9ff, especially v 17-20) where he switches the order of the first and second born again
• Even on his deathbed, he has not resolved the Yaakov/Israel. Why?
• About this parsha, Pinchas Peli writes “Who is a Jew? Not one who can boast about his Jewish grandparents but one who can speak with confidence about his Jewish grandchildren. This one can do when following in the step of Jacob.
• Next Jacob blesses his sons. This is the end of the Avot period when we had black or white characterizations of individuals (Yitzchak/Ishmael, Yaakov/Esau).
• Bnai Israel are not Patriarchs and there is now room for grey.
• At the end of the blessings, Ch 49, v28 the plural version of you is used: individual blessings are now for the collective.
• There is a misdrash that after the blessing, the sons respond with the Shma.
• Rashi notes that once Jacob dies, the enslavement of the Israelites begins