Saturday, December 14, 2013

On Vayechi

In this concluding Sedrah of Genesis, we see the sunset of Jacob's career. We behold this storm tossed soul on his death-bed, blessing his children. He is not afraid to die: "I will sleep with my fathers," he says. He is at peace with G-d. "I wait for Thy salvation O L-rd" are among the last words he utters. He knows that he can never travel beyond G-d's care. He is at peace with man.  Esau, Dinah, Joseph- what a world of strife and suffering and anguish did each of these tragedies bring him- and yet he dies blessing. Though starting as "a plain man dwelling in tents," his is no cloistered virtue, and he certainly is no sinless being. But he possesses the rare art of extracting good from every buffeting of destiny. He errs and he stumbles, but he ever rises again; and on the anvil of affliction his soul is forged.

- Rabbi Dr. J.H. Hertz


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