Wednesday, December 27, 2023

Vayechi - Reading #4

Vayechi, וַיְחִי - And He Lived

Torah Portion: Genesis 47:28-50:26

Reading #4 - Genesis 49:1–18

My Thoughts:

Jacob is prophesying over his sons in this reading. Can you imagine having the spiritual insight to gather your children together before you die and speak into their futures -- good and not so good? And what would it be like for the sons to hear what he was saying? Would there be words of repentance, resolve and restitution. Or did they quietly accept his words? All we know for sure is that Hashem was in it all. I’m sure Jacob trusted in that.


If you have children what would it be like to gather them and speak into their future? Would they accept or reject your words? Maybe if they are younger you can start doing this on a gradual basis. Occasionally during special times address the areas that need adjustment and compliment the areas of success. Sometimes parents raise their children and never encourage them, never praise them or help them with words to grow and change. It’s important to do this. It will help your children to grow up to be responsible. Try this if you are able. If you don’t have children then try it with the young people that Hashem places in your life. All this will make for a better world.

Reading #4 - Genesis 49:1–18

49 Jacob called to his sons, and said: “Gather yourselves together, that I may tell you that which will happen to you in the days to come.

2 Assemble yourselves, and hear, you sons of Jacob.

    Listen to Israel, your father.

3 “Reuben, you are my firstborn, my might, and the beginning of my strength,

    excelling in dignity, and excelling in power.

4 Boiling over like water, you shall not excel,

    because you went up to your father’s bed,

    then defiled it. He went up to my couch.

5 “Simeon and Levi are brothers.

    Their swords are weapons of violence.

6 My soul, don’t come into their council.

    My glory, don’t be united to their assembly;

for in their anger they killed men.

    In their self-will they hamstrung cattle.

7 Cursed be their anger, for it was fierce;

    and their wrath, for it was cruel.

I will divide them in Jacob,

    and scatter them in Israel.

8 “Judah, your brothers will praise you.

    Your hand will be on the neck of your enemies.

    Your father’s sons will bow down before you.

9 Judah is a lion’s cub.

    From the prey, my son, you have gone up.

He stooped down, he crouched as a lion,

    as a lioness.

    Who will rouse him up?

10 The scepter will not depart from Judah,

    nor the ruler’s staff from between his feet,

until he comes to whom it belongs.

    The obedience of the peoples will be to him.

11 Binding his foal to the vine,

    his donkey’s colt to the choice vine,

he has washed his garments in wine,

    his robes in the blood of grapes.

12 His eyes will be red with wine,

    his teeth white with milk.

13 “Zebulun will dwell at the haven of the sea.

    He will be for a haven of ships.

    His border will be on Sidon.

14 “Issachar is a strong donkey,

    lying down between the saddlebags.

15 He saw a resting place, that it was good,

    the land, that it was pleasant.

He bows his shoulder to the burden,

    and becomes a servant doing forced labor.

16 “Dan will judge his people,

    as one of the tribes of Israel.

17 Dan will be a serpent on the trail,

    an adder in the path,

that bites the horse’s heels,

    so that his rider falls backward.

18 I have waited for your salvation, Hashem.