hebrew
1)

Why does the Torah mention that Efrayim was the younger or smaller one?

1.

Ba'al ha'Turim: To teach us that what made Efrayim greater than Menasheh - in that Yehoshua descended from him 1 was the fact that Efrayim made himself small 2


1

Refer to 48:19:2:1. Indeed, Yehoshua too, excelled in the Midah of humility (See Targum Yonasan, Sh'lach-L'cha, 13:15).

2

Perhaps this is why in Pasuk 19, the Torah again calls Efrayim 'his smaller brother'. See Ba'al ha'Turim.

2)

What does the Torah mean when it writes that Ya'akov guided his hands "Ki (because) Menasheh was the B'chor"?

1.

Rashi (citing Targum Onkelos) and Rashbam: The Torah is pointing out that Ya'akov switched his hands deliberately, precisely because he knew that Menasheh was the B'chor (and that Yosef had placed him on his right).

2.

Rosh: He switched his hands rather than the boys, leaving Menasheh on the right because he was the B'chor.

3.

Hadar Zekenim (18): Some say 'even though Menasheh was the Bechor', just like "la'Shem


1

Riva rejects this. 'Even though' is not one of the four meanings of 'Ki'!

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