Pearls of Rashi: Parshas Vayechi

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In this week’s Torah portion, Vayechi, the Torah tells of our forefather Yaakov’s passing. The Torah tells us that[1] “Yaakov called for his sons and said, ‘Gather, and I will tell you what will happen to you at the end of days. Gather and listen, sons of Yaakov, and listen to Yisroel, your father.'” Rashi comments on the words “and I will tell you,” that “He attempted to reveal the end[2], but the Shechinah withdrew from him. Therefore, he began saying other things.”

How does Rashi know, according to Peshat, that Yaakov attempted to reveal the End of Days? The Torah only tells us that he wanted to tell them something; it does not indicate what he wanted to tell them.

This can be explained by looking at the original Hebrew text of the Torah. We translated the Torah’s words ואגידה לכם, “and I will tell you.” There are three ways to write the word “tell” to relate something to another in Hebrew. One is “Dibbur – דיבור – speaking.” Another is “Amirah – אמירה – saying.” The third is “Haggadah – הגדה – telling.”

The difference between these words is explained both in the holy Zohar[3]and in Chassidic philosophy[4]. Dibbur, or speaking, refers to saying something merely with one’s mouth, without necessarily believing it. Amirah, or saying, is something which one believes superficially.

Haggadah, or telling, is called by the holy Zohar “words of wisdom.” This refers to words that come from the depths of one’s heart.

The same is true regarding the Holy One blessed be He, as so to speak. When the Torah uses the word Haggadah, it conveys that He is drawing down His deepest, innermost secrets.

Yaakov told his children, “הֵאָסְפוּ וְאַגִּידָה לָכֶם – gather, and I will tell you.” He used the word “Haggadah,” which tells us that he wanted to tell them the most hidden, most profound secret, i.e., the time of the ultimate Redemption. At that time, the innermost, most concealed part of the soul will connect with Hashem’s innermost part through the innermost part of the Torah.

Rabbi Shmuel Mendelsohn

Adapted from Likkutei Sichos Volume 10, Page 167ff.

מוקדש לזכות כ”ק אדמו”ר נשיא דורנו מליובאוויטש

The Soldiers of Tzivos Hashem Chaim and Aiden Oded שיחיו Morris
Rabbi & Mrs. Menachem M. and Chaya Mushka שיחיו Morris

חיילי “צבאות השם” חיים ועדן עודד שיחיו מאריס
נדפס ע”י הוריהם
הרה”ת ר’ מנחם מענדל וזוגתו מרת חי’ מושקא שיחיו מאריס

[1]. Our Parshah, Bereishis 49:1-2.

[2]. “The End” refers to the end of days, the time of the Messianic Redemption.

[3]. See Zohar Section 1, Page 236, b.

[4]. See the Chassidic discourse of the Rebbe Maharash beginning with the words Nachamu from 5626 (1866), and that beginning with the words Mahaichan Zachu from the year 5627 (1867).

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