Friday, December 29, 2023

Vayechi - Reading #6

Vayechi, וַיְחִי - And He Lived

Torah Portion: Genesis 47:28-50:26

Reading #6 - Genesis 49:27–50:20

My Thoughts:

We have a very well known verse today in 50:20 “As for you, you meant evil against me, but Elohim meant it for good, to save many people alive, as is happening today.” I love this verse, it gives us so much hope. Many times in my life and in others I have seen where Hashem did something really wonderful in a very sad or challenging situation. Usually, it involves people that are not directly involved. In other words, we can be such a “light” to others during a difficult situation.

Yesterday my good friend’s husband died of brain cancer. She called me a few hours after he died and she sounded unbelievably peaceful. She really believes her husband is in the presence of Yeshua now - in heaven or paradise. It was such a witness to hear her voice and her calmness in such a sad situation! I know that Hashem will use her as a huge example of His love to others during the upcoming week -- funeral and all. That is Hashem turning something that could be bad into something that could be really good.


Think of something difficult that you are going through right now, or that someone you are close to is handling. Now pray and ask Hashem how it could all turn for good -- or better yet, see how He already is using the situation for something good. Write it down. Tell others about the goodness of G-d. And praise Him. By doing this you will “enhance” the goodness that comes out of your challenging situation.

Reading #6 - Genesis 49:27–50:20

49:27 “Benjamin is a ravenous wolf. In the morning he will devour the prey. At evening he will divide the plunder.”

28 All these are the twelve tribes of Israel, and this is what their father spoke to them, and blessed them. He blessed everyone according to his own blessing. 29 He instructed them, and said to them, “I am to be gathered to my people. Bury me with my fathers in the cave that is in the field of Ephron the Hittite, 30 in the cave that is in the field of Machpelah, which is before Mamre, in the land of Canaan, which Abraham bought with the field from Ephron the Hittite as a burial place. 31 There they buried Abraham and Sarah, his wife. There they buried Isaac and Rebekah, his wife, and there I buried Leah: 32 the field and the cave that is therein, which was purchased from the children of Heth.” 33 When Jacob finished charging his sons, he gathered up his feet into the bed, breathed his last breath, and was gathered to his people. 50 1 Joseph fell on his father’s face, wept on him, and kissed him. 2 Joseph commanded his servants, the physicians, to embalm his father; and the physicians embalmed Israel. 3 Forty days were used for him, for that is how many the days it takes to embalm. The Egyptians wept for Israel for seventy days.

4 When the days of weeping for him were past, Joseph spoke to Pharaoh’s staff, saying, “If now I have found favor in your eyes, please speak in the ears of Pharaoh, saying, 5 ‘My father made me swear, saying, “Behold, I am dying. Bury me in my grave which I have dug for myself in the land of Canaan.” Now therefore, please let me go up and bury my father, and I will come again.’”

6 Pharaoh said, “Go up, and bury your father, just like he made you swear.”

7 Joseph went up to bury his father; and with him went up all the servants of Pharaoh, the elders of his house, all the elders of the land of Egypt, 8 all the house of Joseph, his brothers, and his father’s house. Only their little ones, their flocks, and their herds, they left in the land of Goshen. 9 Both chariots and horsemen went up with him. It was a very great company. 10 They came to the threshing floor of Atad, which is beyond the Jordan, and there they lamented with a very great and severe lamentation. He mourned for his father seven days. 11 When the inhabitants of the land, the Canaanites, saw the mourning in the floor of Atad, they said, “This is a grievous mourning by the Egyptians.” Therefore its name was called Abel Mizraim, which is beyond the Jordan. 12 His sons did to him just as he commanded them, 13 for his sons carried him into the land of Canaan, and buried him in the cave of the field of Machpelah, which Abraham bought with the field, as a possession for a burial site, from Ephron the Hittite, near Mamre. 14 Joseph returned into Egypt—he, and his brothers, and all that went up with him to bury his father, after he had buried his father.

15 When Joseph’s brothers saw that their father was dead, they said, “It may be that Joseph will hate us, and will fully pay us back for all the evil which we did to him.” 16 They sent a message to Joseph, saying, “Your father commanded before he died, saying, 17 ‘You shall tell Joseph, “Now please forgive the disobedience of your brothers, and their sin, because they did evil to you.”’ Now, please forgive the disobedience of the servants of Elohim of your father.” Joseph wept when they spoke to him. 18 His brothers also went and fell down before his face; and they said, “Behold, we are your servants.” 19 Joseph said to them, “Don’t be afraid, for am I in the place of Elohim? 20 As for you, you meant evil against me, but Elohim meant it for good, to save many people alive, as is happening today.

Thursday, December 28, 2023

Vayechi - Reading #5

Vayechi, וַיְחִי - And He Lived

Torah Portion: Genesis 47:28-50:26

Reading #5 - Genesis 49:19–26

My Thoughts:

Jacob continues to praise his sons and prophecy into their future. He seems to give the longest speeches to Judah and Joseph. I guess we all choose favorites in our kids, but good not to let them know this – right? The point being it is obvious he loved all his children (and grandchildren) and it was important to impart blessings. Like we talked about yesterday, be sure to bless your children while they and you are alive. You never want to miss out on any opportunities.


Take a piece of paper and write down one special thing about each of your children. If they are grown, still do it. And do the same for your grandchildren. Take your paper, date it, and put it somewhere special. Guaranteed sometime in the future someone will find it and be blessed. And it will help you to remember the special things about your family. (If you don’t have kids then write something special about a sibling or friend).

Reading #5 - Genesis 49:19–26

49:19 “A troop will press on Gad,

    but he will press on their heel.

20 “Asher’s food will be rich.

    He will produce royal dainties.

21 “Naphtali is a doe set free,

    who bears beautiful fawns.

22 “Joseph is a fruitful vine,

    a fruitful vine by a spring.

    His branches run over the wall.

23 The archers have severely grieved him,

    shot at him, and persecuted him:

24 But his bow remained strong.

    The arms of his hands were made strong,

    by the hands of the Mighty One of Jacob,

    (from there is the shepherd, the stone of Israel),

25 even by the Elohim of your father, who will help you,

    by the Almighty, who will bless you,

with blessings of heaven above,

    blessings of the deep that lies below,

    blessings of the breasts, and of the womb.

26 The blessings of your father have prevailed above the blessings of your ancestors,

    above the boundaries of the ancient hills.

They will be on the head of Joseph,

    on the crown of the head of him who is separated from his brothers.

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.

Tuesday, December 26, 2023

Vayechi - Reading #3

Vayechi, וַיְחִי - And He Lived

Torah Portion: Genesis 47:28-50:26

Reading #3 - Genesis 48:17–22

My Thoughts:

How does Ephraim’s offspring become greater than his brother’s (verse 19)? Ephraim became a powerful tribe in northern Israel -- but in 721 BC this tribe and nine other “northern” tribes lost a war with Syria and were taken away. Eventually this tribe is disbursed and becomes one of the “lost ten tribes”. Read: Britannica Article.

Here is a curious thought. What if the tribe of Ephraim, through dispersion and intermarriage, although assimilated, has become the largest tribe of peoples? What if all over the world, particularly the United Kingdom and the United States -- millions of people with Jewish heritage tied to the tribe of Ephraim -- exist? Some people think this is true. And that this may be the reason for the huge “Messianic Movement” throughout the earth. Many, many thousands of “gentile” people have had a sudden interest in their possible Jewish heritage and have found a certain special attachment to the Torah. It could certainly be an explanation of why some people are leaving churches and forming “Messianic Synagogues''. Maybe Hashem is calling us to get ready to return to Israel -- for the end times. Just a thought.


If you are a gentile, following and studying Torah, I challenge you to examine your ancestry (if you haven’t already done so). If you have older relatives that are alive, ask them about their history and if there are any ties to Judaism. Go on websites like and look up your family roots. You may be pleasantly surprised. And if you are like me and can not find any answers, but lots of substantial hints -- just accept that Hashem has called you “out” to find Truth in His Word through the Torah. Be grateful and praise Him.

Reading #3 - Genesis 48:17–22

48:17 When Joseph saw that his father laid his right hand on the head of Ephraim, it displeased him. He held up his father’s hand, to remove it from Ephraim’s head to Manasseh’s head. 18 Joseph said to his father, “Not so, my father, for this is the firstborn. Put your right hand on his head.”

19 His father refused, and said, “I know, my son, I know. He also will become a people, and he also will be great. However, his younger brother will be greater than he, and his offspring will become a multitude of nations.” 20 He blessed them that day, saying, “Israel will bless in you, saying, ‘Elohim make you as Ephraim and as Manasseh’” He set Ephraim before Manasseh. 21 Israel said to Joseph, “Behold, I am dying, but Elohim will be with you, and bring you again to the land of your fathers. 22 Moreover I have given to you one portion above your brothers, which I took out of the hand of the Amorite with my sword and with my bow.”

Monday, December 25, 2023

Vayechi - Reading #2

Vayechi, וַיְחִי - And He Lived

Torah Portion: Genesis 47:28-50:26

Reading #2 - Genesis 48:10–16

My Thoughts:

Last wishes. Jacob wanted to bless his son and grandsons before he passed. And Hashem honored that. In verse 11 we read that Jacob didn’t think he would ever see Joseph again, but he did. And it was truly a miracle. It’s important that we let Hashem know what we want when we get close to the end of our lives. And that we are sensitive to the wishes of those whom we love that may be close to death. Do you have any “last wishes” or prayers that you are hoping Hashem will answer before you leave the planet? Ask Him and believe He will answer your prayers -- even if it is in an unexpected way!


Do you have a grandparent/parent or friend who is close to dying? My challenge today is to see if it is possible for you to ask them if they have any “last wishes”. And then to help these wishes come to fruition before they pass. Even if you have to pray for supernatural help or go out of your way to help -- I believe it will all be a blessing and you will be blessed in return. Let’s make sure we are helping those around us to achieve the things they desire, before they die. 

Reading #2 - Genesis 48:10–16

10 Now the eyes of Israel were dim for age, so that he couldn’t see well. Joseph brought them near to him; and he kissed them, and embraced them. 11 Israel said to Joseph, “I didn’t think I would see your face, and behold, Elohim has let me see your offspring also.” 12 Joseph brought them out from between his knees, and he bowed himself with his face to the earth. 13 Joseph took them both, Ephraim in his right hand toward Israel’s left hand, and Manasseh in his left hand toward Israel’s right hand, and brought them near to him. 14 Israel stretched out his right hand, and laid it on Ephraim’s head, who was the younger, and his left hand on Manasseh’s head, guiding his hands knowingly, for Manasseh was the firstborn. 15 He blessed Joseph, and said,

“The Elohim before whom my fathers Abraham and Isaac walked,

the Elohim who has fed me all my life long to this day,

16 the angel who has redeemed me from all evil, bless the lads,

and let my name be named on them,

and the name of my fathers Abraham and Isaac.

Let them grow into a multitude upon the earth.”

Sunday, December 24, 2023

Vayechi - Reading #1

Vayechi, וַיְחִי - And He Lived

Torah Portion: Genesis 47:28-50:26

Reading #1 - Genesis 47:28–48:9

My Thoughts:

Hashem’s blessings from father to sons. How beautiful that he was alive and coherent enough to bless his sons and grandsons before dying. Most men do not have that opportunity. They die instantly or slowly losing the ability to talk or reason. Jacob had the wonderful chance of being there mentally, emotionally and physically to bless his family. I am sure Hashem planned it that way. Maybe that is something we should seriously think about. Passing on a blessing to our sons, even before we get sick or die suddenly. It would be thoughtful planning to do it ahead of time. Consider doing this please.


When was the last time you told your son and/or daughter that you loved them? Whether they are two years old or forty years old, I challenge you to do that today (or as soon as possible). You never know when you or they will be gone from this life. Don’t be embarrassed and don’t delay doing this. I promise you will not regret doing so. And continue telling them every day or every time you see them. We all need to know that we are loved and hopefully and prayerfully they will tell you they love you back!

Reading #1 - Genesis 47:28–48:9

47:28 Jacob lived in the land of Egypt seventeen years. So the days of Jacob, the years of his life, were one hundred forty-seven years. 29 The time came near that Israel must die, and he called his son Joseph, and said to him, “If now I have found favor in your sight, please put your hand under my thigh, and deal kindly and truly with me. Please don’t bury me in Egypt, 30 but when I sleep with my fathers, you shall carry me out of Egypt, and bury me in their burying place.”

Joseph said, “I will do as you have said.”

31 Israel said, “Swear to me,” and he swore to him. Then Israel bowed himself on the bed’s head.

48 After these things, someone said to Joseph, “Behold, your father is sick.” He took with him his two sons, Manasseh and Ephraim. 2 Someone told Jacob, and said, “Behold, your son Joseph comes to you,” and Israel strengthened himself, and sat on the bed. 3 Jacob said to Joseph, “Elohim Almighty appeared to me at Luz in the land of Canaan, and blessed me, 4 and said to me, ‘Behold, I will make you fruitful, and multiply you, and I will make of you a company of peoples, and will give this land to your offspring after you for an everlasting possession.’ 5 Now your two sons, who were born to you in the land of Egypt before I came to you into Egypt, are mine; Ephraim and Manasseh, even as Reuben and Simeon, will be mine. 6 Your offspring, whom you become the father of after them, will be yours. They will be called after the name of their brothers in their inheritance. 7 As for me, when I came from Paddan, Rachel died beside me in the land of Canaan on the way, when there was still some distance to come to Ephrath, and I buried her there on the way to Ephrath (also called Bethlehem).”

8 Israel saw Joseph’s sons, and said, “Who are these?”

9 Joseph said to his father, “They are my sons, who Elohim has given me here.”

He said, “Please bring them to me, and I will bless them.”

Vayechi - Week #12

Vayechi, וַיְחִי - And He Lived

Genesis 47:28-50:26

1 Kings 2:1-12

John 13:1-19

1.1 First reading — Genesis 47:28–48:9

1.2 Second reading — Genesis 48:10–16

1.3 Third reading — Genesis 48:17–22

1.4 Fourth reading — Genesis 49:1–18

1.5 Fifth reading — Genesis 49:19–26

1.6 Sixth reading — Genesis 49:27–50:20

1.7 Seventh reading — Genesis 50:21–26