When Jacob and Joseph meet at the beginning of Va-y'chi, this final portion in Genesis, the weathered, weakened patriarch approaches his regal son.
To Reuben: "Unstable as water, you shall excel no longer."
In Parashat Va-y'chi, the patriarch Jacob is dying, and he summons his twelve sons to give each one a final blessing and to urge that they follow God's will.
In Parashat Va-y'chi, we learn of the dying wishes of Jacob and Joseph, who urge their respective families not to bury them in Egypt.
This week's Torah portion, Va-y'chi, begins with the announcement of Jacob's imminent death.
Throughout Genesis we read about the generations of Israel: those who received God's promise to make them as numerous as the sands of the sea and those who led their generation in righteousne
As we reach the end of the secular year, our Torah portion too is full of endings.
My Uncle George was the family chronicler. He kept track of all the birthdays, anniversaries, and yahrzeits. He knew phone numbers and addresses by heart.
Parashat Va-y'chi concludes the Book of Genesis. It is a mixture of narrative and poetry, of blessings and curses, of promises and anxiety about the future.
In his commentary about Parashat Va-y'chi , Rabbi Louis Barth artfully weaves two midrashic texts that help us to understand how the narrative at the end of Jacob's life and Moses