Drash Cards for VaYechi (5764)
by Marc Mangel
• I also drashed this year on Chaye Sarah. This could be called Chaye Yaakov
• The first message: what matters is how we lead our lives: Abraham’s death gets 4 verses, Isaac’s gets two, and Jacob gets extraordinary detail. He is the only of the Avot to die on alien soil.
• To the end of his life, his still referred to as Jacob or Israel, about which Rav Bachya teaches that even at the end of his life the divine presence could leave him — he struggled, as we struggle, to maintain it.
• Here’s an analogy: Abraham has perfect spiritual pitch and Jacob is like most of us who do not
• In Pesachim, it is taught that Jacob says the Shma to his sons and they respond Baruch Shem Kavod. R. Moshe Feinstein notes that the latter phrase is not in the Torah and we say it when we need to strengthen our faith — we say it with an under breath because it is embarrassing to us and God that we have to say it
• But if we put the two together, we conclude i) it is hard to let the Divine presence in and ii) it is common to need to strength faith.
• The search — the struggle — is more important than its possession.
• May we all be like Jacob.