Vayechi (Genesis 47:28-50:26) Haftarah (I Kings 2:1-12)
Have A Happy and Healthier New Year.
“Prayer Over the City” on January 1st at NOON will be hosted on Facebook by Solomon’s Porch Foursquare Fellowship.
All will be able to view from the safety of your homes.
“The Freedom Fireside” will be held on Sunday, January 3rd at 7PM. It will be on YouTube.This event is the Invocation of the Governor Elect Spencer Cox of Utah. I will be representing the Beit Chaverim Jewish Community of Greater Zion, and, as also President of the St. George Interfaith Council.
This week Torah parsha has the last years and death of Jacob. Jacob blesses his son Joseph and his grandsons Manasseh and Ephraim. Then Jacob blesses all his sons.Joseph reassures his brothers that they will be safe, and promises to care for them and their families. Joseph died at age 110 years. He instructs his family before he dies to return his bones to the Holy Land.
*Please remember that Jacob had 12 sons and ONE DAUGHTER, DINAH. Where’s Dinah’s blessing? There was no mention of any blessings for his daughter, Dinah in the Torah.
This is the concluding Serah of Genesis, we read of Jacob and his life. Jacob was a man that faced many challenges given to him by G-d. When he was unsure of himself, we read his name in Hebrew as Yaacov,and when he was sure of himself in body and mind, we read his name as Yisrael. We are called Bnai Yisrael, the children of Israel. Maybe the Almighty knew we would have many challenges, strife and wars between nations against us and disagreements within the Jewish community to overcome as our lives continue on this journey of life.
The blessing for the families is a Sabbath tradition and started with Jacob blessing his grandchildren from Joseph.Before he dies, Jacob calls his sons to gather around his bedside for a blessing. Today’s custom continues with parents blessing their children before sitting down to the evening Sabbath meal. This provides them with a privileged opportunity to express appreciation for their children. The blessing for the boys invokes a shining example of Jacob’s grandchildren Ephraim and Manasseh, who, although raised in Egypt, did not lose their Jewish identity. (Genesis 48:20), and he crosses his hands blessing the youngest before the oldest. Today,there are blessings for girls, which refers to the four matriarchs, Sarah, Rebekah, Rachel and Leah, all of whom were known for their concern, compassion,leadership, and love for others. The brief ceremony concludes with the priestly benediction (Numbers 6:24-26) invoking G-d’s protection and peace.
This portion ends the first book of the Torah, Genesis. In synagogues one raises and recites “Hazak, Hazak, V’Nithazak”…”Be strong, be strong, and let us strengthen one another”
The Book Bereshit contains: 1534 verses, 43 chapters and 12 Sidrot
The Haftarah, David, feeling the end of his life is near, gives his son Solomon the best of blessings in words which point the way of life to every child of Israel. He says,”Be strong, and show yourself a man. Keep the charge of G-d,to walk in G-d’s ways and keep the statutes and commandments”(I Kings 2:23).
Judaism has many beautiful customs and of course the 613 Commandments that Jewish people are blessed to have as a guideline for living. During these dark times of the China Coronavirus,
may all of us be strong and walk in the paths of G-d. May He bless our lives to have meaning, bringing light and peace to the world in this coming year 2021/5781.
Misherberot will be recited for all of us for a Healthy Secular New Year and for all who are ill.
Rabbi Helene Ainbinder