Dvar Torah Parshat VaYechi 5773 2012

In today’s Portion Yaakov blesses his sons before his demise. When he concludes the Beracha, the Torah states that: “…he blessed them, every man according to his blessing” בֵּרַךְ אֹתָם, “he blessed them.” (Gen. 49,28) Rashi questions the wording “he blessed them”. It would be more appropriate to say, “every man according to his blessing he blessed ‘him’.”

Rashi answers his question by saying that all the blessings he gave to individuals also applied to the other brothers. He blessed them personally and all of them collectively.

There is a highly significant meaning in these words. Each of the brothers had individual traits and were blessed accordingly. However, as a family, they shared their characteristics and qualities with each other.

This feature is true about the Jewish people as a whole. Jews have diverse thoughts and distinctiveness. They act differently, they dress differently, but they constitute one people. Each one has to recognize that his fellow Jew, while possessing distinct qualities, is still part of the total Jewish people.

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