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Parshah Vayechi

Parshah Vayechi

Genesis 47:28-50:26

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Torah Portion: Vayechi
From our Sages on the Parshah
I give you Shechem... which I took from the Emori with my sword and bow (Genesis 48:22)

As it is written (Joshua 24:32), "And Joseph's bones... they buried in Shechem." This is analogous to thieves who stole a barrel full of wine; when the owner found them, he said: "Be so kind, when you finish drinking up the wine, put the barrel back in its place." So, too, Joseph was kidnapped by his brothers in Shechem, and to Shechem they returned his bones.

(Daat Zekeinim)

The Midrash says: "Did Jacob conquer Shechem with sword and bow? But 'my sword' is his prayer, and 'my bow' is his supplication."
Why is prayer like a bow? Just like a bow, the more a person draws the bowstring to himself, the further the arrow flies, so it is with prayer: the deeper one delves into one's own heart, the higher one's prayer ascends.

(Rabbi Mendel of Kotzk)

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