: Vayechi (And He Lived) B’resheet/Genesis 47:28-50:26
Haftorah Readings: I Kings 2:1-12
Tonight we finish the first book of Torah with a portion about the last days of the life of Jacob. As I pointed out in my questions this week there is one other portion that begins with basically the same words. In Genesis 23:1 we read a portion beginning with this verse, when translated to English reads, ”The life of Sarah.” What is scripture telling us in these two portions?
It seems to me scripture is telling us that death is not the end. It is telling us that our lives are measured by what we leave behind, our legacy of children or others that were influenced by us. These are the things that count. These are of lasting value. Death is but a transition between this world and the next. Here in our reading this week we see Jacob coming to the end of his life here on earth. From here the story carries on with his children and their children and the founding of the twelve tribes of Israel. As history unfolds we see Jacob’s life even intersecting our lives, through his lineage, Yeshua the Messiah.
Torah Portion: D’varim (Deut) 1:1-3:22
Haftorah Reading: Isaiah 1:1-27
This week we read the first Torah portion of D’Varim, known in English as Deuteronomy. Deuteronomy is a Greek word meaning Second Torah. This meaning is misleading since there are many commandments that do not appear here but are found in other books of Torah. The name in Hebrew, however, has a much deeper meaning. In Hebrew the root of the word, d’var, can mean both thing and word. It was by the Word of G-d that all things came into being.
Torah Portion: VAYECHI Genesis 47:28-50:26
HafTorah: I Kings 2:1-12
Tonight the Torah section is named “And he lived”, yet it mainly covers the death of Jacob. There is another Torah section that follows the same pattern. What is it? Chayei Sarah, Genesis 23:1. Yet it also mainly talks of her death and burial. So what is the Torah trying to tell us here and with Sarah? Even in the beginning we read in Genesis 3:19 about G-d relating to Adam, Adam’s own death. But then in the next verse we see Adam named his wife Hava (Eve) for she was to be the mother of all life. What is striking with her name is that literally it means one who narrates or tells a story.