Sunday, January 20, 2008

Parshas Vayechi

Yaakov's Bracha to Shimon and Levi is filled with what seems to be rebuke of what they did in Shechem and for what they did to Yosef.

If the afformentioned is indeed the truth, then Rashi on Shimon and Levi's "bracha" is striling.

At the end of the bracha Yaakov says "Va'afitzeim B'yisrael", you shall be spread amongst Yisrael. Rashi says that this refers to Levi not having an official nachalah in Eretz Yisrael. The reason for this is that shevet Levi was the spiritual mentors and the teachers of torah. If yaakov seems to be giving them rebuke and saying that Levi has deficiancies then why should he be the teachers of Klal Yisrael? After getting through all the bad things that Levi did why os Yaakov suddenly blessing Levi with such an honor and responsibility?

To answer this question we must examine what the berchos Yaakov really were. Yaakov was pointing out the stregnths, weaknesses, and uniquenesses in each of his sons before his death. One can use the special talents and traits that Hashem gave him to do great thing or can use them to do very destructive things. Yaakov was pointing out to his sons their special talents so they would be able to use them in productive was.

With this perspective of what a beracha is Rav Kamenetzky answers the question of above. He explains that first Yaakov pointed out to both Shimon and Levi their special trait from Hashom of passion and always being rerady to take care of what needs to be done. Yaakov pointed out the bumps in the road that Shimon and Levi had experienced by using these gifts from Hakadosh Baruch Hu in the episodes of Shechem and Michiras Yosef. Yaakov then went on and said that you have the ability to accomplish great things with these gifts. I therefore want you Levi to be the leaders of Klal Yisrael and the teachers of Torah. You can use your great passion to spread torah and teach Torah and the ways of Hashem to others.

One question remains. Why did Levi become such great teachers and mentors when Shimon did not? What was differant about shevet Levi that hey used their gifts to accomplish great things?

In last weeks parsha Yosef said that all Kohanim of Mitzrrayim did not need to work for him or pay taxes to him. Yosef did this so that when Bnei Yisrael would become enslaved in Mitzrayim there would be people who could sit and learn torah and while doing this they would be able to protect the mesorah. Levi, during the avdus Mitzrayim, were in affect training themselves to gear their talents and gifts from Hakadosh Baruch Hu in the right way. For all this time they were being passionate about learning Torah and preserving the Mesorah. Therefore, Shevet Levi were ready

when beni Yisrael entered Eretz Yisrael to be Passionate role models and teachers of Torah. Shevet Shimon on the other hand were Avadim in Mitzrayim for all those years. It was therefore much harder for them to train themselves to use their Kochos for teaching Bnei Yisrael not only Torah but also how to gear your strengths in the right ways.

I Hope you enjoyed this Dvar Torah, dvar torah on the parshas hashavua


Yosef said...

Insightful dvar torah. I will share this dvar torah at the shabbos table. Keep on writing these beautiful divrei torah.

e said...

im confused-- y did yosef pick shevet levi in the first place to escape and be the ones to learn. if he had picked shimon it cud hav been shimon. so y didnt he pick shimon??