Dvar Torah Vayechi 2003 – 5763 דבר תורה ויחי

Yakov blesses his sons before he dies. The Torah says after he concludes with the Berachot, “…he blessed each according to his appropriate blessing.” (Gen. 49:28) What is the meaning of this phrase? Naturally each son got his own blessing.

What value would a blessing be to a big Talmid Chacham if you said to him, “be successful in your business”? What value would a blessing to a businessman be who never studied Torah if you said, “you should succeed in your learning”? Every individual has his own interests and if you want to wish him well you have to bless him according to what has meaning to him.

Yakov recognized that his sons were all different. Everyone had his own personality and each one of them had his own skills and abilities. This is what the Torah means. He blessed them each according to his own needs and his own unique talents. Together they all made up the Bnei Yisrael.

For us too this has meaning. Each and every one of us has different capabilities and each has different aspirations. We should not be discouraged if we cannot do what someone else can. We should develop our own skills. Together, all of us, each with his own contribution, make up our family, our people and the world in general.

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