Posted by: mosesfromsinai | December 28, 2014

Vayichee – And he Lived

This week’s Torah Reading is Vayichee.  It is the last portion in the first book of the Torah.  This week is also the 10th day of the Hebrew month of Teves.   This day marks the beginning stages of the destruction of the Beis Hamikdosh, the Holy Temple and the beginning of the Jewish exile.

The Temple was built in the portion belonging to Benyamin, the youngest of the 12 tribes.  We saw that the brothers, in particular Yehuda, was prepared to give his life for Benyamin.  Just as Yoseph had enjoyed a special status with Yakov their father, so also did Benyamin.  Benyamin was (in Yakov;s mind) the only surviving child from his special wife Rochel.  Yakov had thought Yoseph was dead.  With Yoseph, there had been a level of jealousy which we did not see with Benyamin.  (One reason may have been that we do not hear of Benyamin being used as Yakov’s snitch to know what the brothers were doing).

Beyamin receives the last blessing and the commentaries point out that this blessing alludes to the prominent role that Benyamin will play.   He will supply the 1st King of Israel, Saul.   Much later he will supply, Mordechai, also from the tribe of Benyamin, who will defeat Haman the Amalikite who tried to destroy the Jewish Nation.

Benyamin represents the son that all the others are willing to defend and protect.  This harmony is what gives Benyamin, the Bais Hamikdosh in his portion and the ability to father descendents that lead and redeem the Jewish nation.  It is evident that the key to the final redemption is indeed the harmony that we can show to our fellow brothers and sisters.

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