Vayechi

Before leaving this world, Jacob blesses his family. To bless someone requires enormous self-confidence, yet ultimately, every blessing is this: May you reach the fullness of your potential. May you be who you are. Perhaps the strangest of the blessings is the one he gives his grandsons. “May Israel bless through you, and say ‘May God make you as Ephraim and Menashe.’” We know nothing about lives of Ephraim and Menashe apart from this story. So when Jewish parents throughout history bless their children with these words, they create a loop through time, asking for their children to be like ancestors who were to be models for their descendants. Ancestors and descendants with infinite potential to bless and be blessed.

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[Inspired by: Drawing Hands by M. C. Escher; Genesis 48; and Rav Raz Hartman’s teachings on the blessings, Vayechi 5776.]

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