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Table Talk: Vayechi III: Slaves Print E-mail

Table-Talk-Parsha-Vayechi-ShabbatThe brothers are worried. Jacob is dead and they wonder whether Joseph will take revenge. They go to him and give him this whole story and then they offer themselves as slaves. This is not the first time: When Benjamin was “caught”l with the goblet, “We will be your slave!” They were in a desperate situation when Benjamin was accused. Now, they are scared. Judaism insists that we are slaves only to God; not to men. How could they offer themselves as slaves? Hint: Relate this to Joseph’s dreams.

A Choice:
If Jacob had to ask Joseph to bury him in Israel because Joseph was the one in power. Why did he also need to ask his other sons after Joseph had already agreed?Furthermore, Yaakov did not ask the other sons, he commanded them. Was he sending a message? The Midrash teaches that Yaakov wanted his sons, and not his grandchildren, to carry his coffin. Was he offering his sons a chance to remain in Israel in order to avoid Joseph’s resentment and possible revenge?

Names
Abraham had many meetings with angels, and never asked for a name. Jacob did. Can you find situations in this parsha in which Jacob focuses on names? Hint: Why did he cross his hands when blessing Joseph’s sons rather than move the boys around?
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