Pearls of Rashi – Parshas Vayaishev

Until this week’s Torah portion, the Torah has taught us the fundamentals which lead to the ultimate formation of the Jewish nation. The Torah began by telling us of the creation of the world and Hashem’s dominion over it. The Torah then introduces us to the fathers and mothers of the Jewish nation. Following this, we come to the birth of Yaakov’s children, the twelve tribes of Israel. Finally, we reach this week’s Torah portion. Here we are told of the interaction of Yaakov’s children among each other.

The Torah teaches us that the actions of our patriarchs empower us, their descendants, with the ability to perform our Divine service[1]. However, what we discuss in our Parshah is far stronger. It is a direct allusion to the function of the Jewish nation throughout all generations[2].

At the beginning of our Parshah, Yosef tells his brothers of two dreams, which he had. Both dreams indicate that at some point, he would have a position of authority over them. The Torah tells us that they were not pleased, but their father had a different approach to his son’s dreams. That is why the Torah tells us that[3] “his brothers envied him, but his father awaited the matter.” Rashi cites the words “awaited the matter” and explains as follows. He (Yaakov) was waiting and looking forward to when the fulfillment of the dream would come. Similarly, it says, “awaiting the realization…[4]

We can explain this as follows. The fact that Yaakov our Forefather, was “was waiting and looking forward to when the fulfillment of the dream would come,” is a description of what all of his children, the Jews, are awaiting throughout this long and bitter exile. Each of us is awaiting the ultimate redemption through our righteous Moshiach.

The fact that Yaakov was awaiting redemption is why Rashi follows this by telling us that “similarly, it says ‘awaiting the realization.’” On that verse in Yeshayahu, Rashi explains that the Jews are “a righteous nation, awaiting. They waited and longed throughout their exile many days for the faith of the Holy One, blessed be He, that He fulfills His promise through His prophets, to redeem them.” Rashi’s words demonstrate that although this Golus has lasted so long, Yaakov’s children never stop waiting for Moshiach. For this merit alone, may Hashem send Moshiach now!

I wish everyone a good Shabbos and a happy Chanukah!

Rabbi Shmuel Mendelsohn

Adapted from Likkutei Sichos Volume 35, Beginning with Page 161

IN LOVING MEMORY OF OUR FATHER
Mr. Sholom Moshe Hacohen
ben Reb Shlomo Meir Hacohen ע”ה Cohen
Passed away Shabbos Parshas Beshalach, 13 Shevat, 5779
May His Soul be bound in the Eternal Bond of Life
*
DEDICATED BY HIS SON-IN-LAW AND DAUGHTER
RABBI SHMUEL AND RIFKA שי’MENDELSOHN
* * *
לעילוי נשמת
ר’ שלום משה הכהן בן ר’ שלמה מאיר הכהן ע”ה כהן
נפטר ש”ק פ’ בשלח, י”ג שבט, ה’תשע”ט
ת. נ. צ. ב. ה.
*
יו”ל ע”י חתנו ובתו שיחיו
הרה”ת ר’ שמואל ורבקה שי’ מענדלסאהן

[1]. See the Ramban’s commentary to Parshas Lech Lecho, Bereishis 12:6.

[2]. See the commentary of the Akeidah to our Parshah, Section 28.

[3]. Our Parshah, Bereishis 37:11.

[4]. Yeshaya 26:2.

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