What lessons can we learn from the current episode (Ma'aseh Avos Si'man le'Banim)?


Ramban: Ya'akov's descent to Egypt was in fact, a precursor of Galus Edom. 1


Refer to 43:14:3:2*. Just as the Shevatim brought upon themselves the Galus (via the sale of Yosef); b. Ya'akov went down to Egypt on account of the famine; c. he went down on good terms with Pharaoh, with the intention of remaining only a short time and returning immediately after the famine ended, and d. he died in Galus, and after a long Galus, the elders of Egypt returned his bones amidst great fanfare and mourned Ya'akov's death - so too, a. Yisrael caused Galus Edom by entering into a peace-treaty with the Romans; b. Yerushalayim was captured due to hunger; c. the Romans abrogated the treaty and the ultimate Galus stretched over a long period of time and d. eventually the nations will return us to our land and mourn when they witness our rise to power.


Why is the Parshah of Vayechi Setumah (there is no space between the end of Vayigash and it)?


Rashi #1: Because the hearts and eyes of Yisrael were closed due to the Tzaros of the Shibud, which began after 1 Ya'akov Avinu died. 2


Rashi #2: Because when Ya'akov wanted to disclose the deadline 3 (the latest time Mashi'ach can come), it was 'closed' (hidden) from him.


This is difficult. Yosef was still king (Da'as Zekenim, Hadar Zekenim)! Rashi himself (Shmos 6:16) says that as long as one of the Shevatim was alive, the Shibud did not begin (Moshav Zekenim)! That refers to Shibud of making bricks. Some Shibud began once Yakov died.


Which is already ominously portrayed in the opening Pesukim of the Parshah. (EC)


Da'as Zekenim, Hadar Zekenim: How did Yakov know this? It was from the number of steps that the Sar of Esav ascended on the ladder in his dream (refer to 28:12:1:6**).


Why does the Torah mention how many years Yakov lived in Mitzrayim?


Da'as Zekenim, Hadar Zekenim: This teaches that just like Yakov financed Yosef for 17 years (before he was sold), Yosef financed Yakov for 17 years.


Why does the Torah say "va'Yhi" Yemei Yakov? Regarding Avraham and Yitzchak, it says va'Yihyu"!


Riva: The Gematriya of "va'Yhi" is 31. This hints that he lived only 31 good years - 14 in the Yeshivah of Ever, and 17 years with Yosef in Mitzrayim. 1


Hadar Zekenim: The Gematriya of "va'Ychi" is 34. He lived properly only 34 years when Yosef was with him. The rest of his life was pain. (Granted, he holds that in Beis Ever, Yakov feared Esav. However, what pain did he have before he fled from Esav? And the first six years of Yosef's life, Yakov had pain from Lavan, and the two year journey home was filled with pain (meeting Esav, the episode with Dinah, Rachel's death, Reuven's act)! And why does Riva hold that Yakov's nine years in Eretz Yisrael before Yosef's sale were not good?) (PF)


רש"י: למה פרשה זו סתומה וכו': פרשיות רבות סתומות הן?


גור אריה: גם בפרשה סתומה יש ריווח של 9 אותיות, ואילו כאן אין ריווח בכלל.


רש"י: למה פרשה זו סתומה וכו': אם פרשה זו סתומה, אולי זו לא פרשה בפני עצמה?


גור אריה: כיון שמחלקים כאן לשתי פרשות, בודאי כך קבלה בידינו מעזרא הסופר.


גור אריה: אין קשר בין פרשה זו לקודמת, ולכן צריך לומר שזו פרשה בפני עצמה.


רש"י: מצרת השעבוד: קשה שהמצרים לא שיעבדו אותם לפני שמתו השבטים?


גור אריה: אחרי מות יעקב כבר שיעבדו אותם, אבל לא שיעבדו אותם בקביעות לפני מות השבטים.


רש"י: לגלות את הקץ: למה נסתם ממנו הקץ, והרי הוא נתגלה כבר לאברהם?


גור אריה: לא מדובר כאן על קץ גלות מצרים אלא על קץ כל הגלויות.


רש"י: לגלות את הקץ: למה פרשה זו סתומה ולא לקמ'- כשקרא יעקב לבניו כדי לברכם?


גור אריה: שם זה ענין אחד לגמרי ואי אפשר שם לסתום ולחלק לשתי פרשיות.

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