Vayechi(And He Lived)B’resheet/Genesis 47:28-50:26
Today I would like us to look at the last Torah portion of Genesis. In this portion we read of the death of both Jacob and Joseph. This portion, like Chayai Sarah in Genesis 23:1, follows an interesting thought. Even though both are called by a name meaning life, they include the death of the main character.
Torah Portion: Tetzaveh(Command) Exodus(Sh’mot) 27:20-30:10
Haftorah Reading: Ezekiel 43:10-27
Tonight, we read a Torah portion made up almost entirely with a description of the priestly garments and the process of setting apart Aaron and his sons for the priesthood. My question this week covers this process and what it means to be set apart. However, before we get to that there are several other topics I want us to look at and how they speak to our lives today.
In the very first verse we read of the pure beaten olive oil that was to be brought for the light in the Mishkan. I want to take just a moment to examine this and how it might apply in our own life. G-d specifically says the oil the people are to bring must be pure beaten olive oil. In some translations it is called crushed oil. Crushed is probably the better translation. Even today, to get the best extra virgin olive oil the olives are crushed just enough to get the first few drops – the purest of the crop. After that, the olives are beaten to get whatever oil remains. So, the first crushing produces the best and purest oil. From this what oil gives the best light? The purest oil gives the best light.