Enter your email address to get our weekly email with fresh, exciting and thoughtful content that will enrich your inbox and your life.

Vayechi Videos

Rabbi Jono
Video | 4:26
Rabbi Jono
Vayechi Parshah Report
Itche and Jono trade places for a day. Hilarity ensues.
It would be helpful to know the date of the final Redemption. But the Redemption would not be perfect were it brought about with such help. (“Parsha Perks” with Dr Michael Chighel | Vayechi)
Should Toxic Environments Be Avoided at All Costs?
A lesson from Jacob's blessing to his grandson Efraim.
When I Deserve It Least, I Need Your Love Most
Sometimes we see it coming. We warn our spouse or child, and they proceed to mess up. Isn’t this the time for tough love reprimand, to point out their errors? Learn how to most effectively support and rebuild the person who did wrong.
What I Would Say If I Could Meet Jacob
How to touch the truly eternal
Torah in Ten: Vayechi
Topics include: a mystical reason for why tefillin are made of leather, the connection between Jacob and Rabbi Akiba, and why Jacob did not bless two of his twelve sons.
How You Can Help Protect Our People
Something Spiritual on Parshat Vayechi
Blessing Our Kids
Video | 1:51
Blessing Our Kids
Something Spiritual on Parshat Vayechi
Are You Really Living Life?
The story of Jacob teaches us how to give meaning to the fleeting moments in life.
What to Bless Your Children
Soul Boost for Parshat Vayechi
Can People Really Change?
Jacob’s last years, spent in Egypt were the very best of his life; filled with true satisfaction and happiness. Whilst it’s not hard to understand that being reunited with Joseph, and seeing his family united and loyal to his hallowed ideals, would be a source of profound joy; there’s something decidedly unsettling about the prime Patriarch being happiest in a place filled with pernicious immorality and spiritual corruption. The Rebbe’s final rumination on this widely discussed subject is revolutionary in its novel approach and leads us into mind-expanding Kabbalistic ideas shedding new light on the age-old question: can people change?!
Writing Your Will
Video | 1:05:19
Writing Your Will
Practical Parshah - Vayechi
In this week’s portion, Jacob gives his sons his last will and testament. What does Jewish law say about how to bequeath an inheritance to heirs?
Positive Conclusions
Why answer the nations of the world’s criticism of Israel
The Torah concludes the book of Genesis with the death of Joseph and the fact that he was interned - actually placed in the Nile - in Egypt. Yet we are enjoined by Torah to conclude a Torah subject on a positive note?! The answer sheds new light on both the end and beginning of the first book of the Torah. (Likutei Sichos vol. 30, talk 3)
A Blessing in a Wolf's Guise
Parshat Vayechi
Before his passing, Jacob blessed his sons. His youngest son, Benjamin, is praised and blessed: "Benjamin, like a wolf snatches his prey." Strange as this blessing appears on the surface, Rashi's explanations leaves us even more bewildered. This talk will illuminate Rashi's commentary and deliver a powerful message for our times. (Likutei Sichos, vol. 25)
Internal Tribes
Video | 45:51
Internal Tribes
Parsha Vayechi
How Reuven, Shimon, Levi and Yehudah represent four different phases we experience as we go through the order of the morning prayers: 1) Reuven—the first paragraph of Shema, 2) Shimon—the second paragraph of Shema, 3) Levi—the blessings after Shema, and 4) Yehudah—the Amidah prayer. (Based on the discourse "Yehuda Achecha Yoducha 5738.")
Jacob Our Father Did Not Die
Parshah Vayechi
The Sages of the Talmud, in their debate whether one may discuss Torah while consuming a meal, address the existential quandary of whether it is better to transcend nature or conform to it. (Based on Likutei Sichos, Vol 35. Vayechi 3.)
The Closed Parshah
Video | 26:46
The Closed Parshah
Parshah Power—Vayechi
The Torah portion of Vayechi, as transcribed in the sacred Torah scroll, begins without the usual marking of a new portion. Join us as we probe the meaning behind this anomaly.
May G-d Make You Like Ephraim and Menashe
Letters and Numbers of Torah - Vayechi
"[Jacob] blessed [Ephraim and Menashe] on that day, saying: With you, Israel will bless, saying, 'May G-d make you like Ephraim and like Menashe,'" (Genesis 48:20). Why do Jewish parents continue to this day to bless their children to be like these two grandsons of Jacob? An extra letter vav in the word "saying" holds the hint.
Concluding the Book of Genesis
Video | 12:10
Concluding the Book of Genesis
Parsha Vayechi
The Torah portion of Vayechi serves as a "bridge" between the book of B'reishis (Genesis) and the book of Sh'mos (Exodus.) The book of B'reishis relates the miraculous lives of our ancestors. The book of Sh'mos describes our descent into exile. It is the miraculous nature that we have inherited from our ancestors that gives us the power to survive exile. From Likutei Sichos, vol. 30, p.253
Parsha Gems: Vayechi
Study some of the highlights of the weekly Torah portion with insights from various commentaries.
Parshah Insights: Vayechi
Torah Interpretations of the Rebbe
Parshah Mnemonics: Vayechi
Decoding the hidden messages
The parshah of Vayechi contains 85 verses and the mnemonic for it are the words ‘Peh el Peh’ (which means “mouth to mouth”). Explore the coded message in this Masoretic note and its connection to the general themes of the Parshah.
Benjamin a Preying Wolf?
The Jewish Werewolf Transformation
Why does Jacob bless the righteous Benjamin as a wild wolf? How is this blessing a virtue? Discover a spiritual take on the positive skin-shifting traits of Binyamin.
Jacob’s Deathbed-Drama: Nothing to Sneeze At!
Parshah Curiosities: Vayechi
This profound rumination about the last Patriarch’s unique final hours passes into a fascinating exploration into the custom of well-wishing one who sneezes. You’ll be shocked to discover the Torah-true origins to this seemingly superstitious practice, which then begs the question: why would an authentic Jewish practice enjoy near total universal appeal?
Post-mortem Composure
Video | 1:21:34
Post-mortem Composure
Up to his final terrestrial moment the Patriarch Jacob exhibits paranormal stamina, composure and clarity for a person about to pass, and in fact, a glaring scriptural omission indicates he never actually died! How on earth can that make any sense; especially as this entire portion is uniquely revolves around his death with multiple verses explicitly alluding to his demise? Finally, how was his body buried, and did it decompose? Incredible answers that tell us much about Jacob, Joseph and Tzadikim today!
Love That Knows No Bounds
A Taste of Text—Vayechi
Can we look beyond the faults or inadequacies of another to envision what our matriarch saw?
A Four-Sided Blessing
10 Teves, 5748 · December 31, 1987
In the fifth section of the Torah portion of Vayechi, Jacob's blessings to four of his sons are grouped together: "A troop marches forth from the tribe of Gad... The tribe of Asher will be a wellspring of olive oil... Naftali is a swift gazelle... Joseph, a robust grape vine by the spring…" All four blessings demonstrate vitality and initiative.
Take Us Out!
Video | 6:04
Take Us Out!
The Torah teaches us that Jacob’s best years were while living in Egypt during the final part of his life. Nevertheless, Jacob insisted on being taken to be interred near his parents and grandparents in the city of Hebron.
True Living in Egypt
As a young child, the Tzemach Tzedek once asked the Alter Rebbe how Jacob’s best years could have been in Egypt, a land of immorality.
The Woman Who Didn’t Believe
Parshat Vayechi
Why I envied the faith of a Jewish woman who claimed she was a non-believer.
How to Honor a Father
Parshah Nuggets: Vayechi
Even after being reunited with his father, Joseph avoided spending very much time with him. Why? Because of the one question that Joseph feared his father would ask him.
As Swift as a Deer
Something Spiritual on Parshat Vayechi
Free Yourself From Resentment
Growing Weekly: Parshat Vayechi
Building Infrastructure for Torah
Life Lessons from Parshat Vayechi
Before Jacob arrived in Egypt, he sent Judah ahead to prepare an environment of Torah. This Torah infrastructure is what enabled Judaism to flourish even in a depraved land like Egypt.
Internal Tribes, Part 2
Commentaries on the Torah
How Reuven, Shimon, Levi and Yehudah represent four different phases we experience as we go through the order of the morning prayers: 1) Reuven—the first paragraph of Shema, 2) Shimon—the second paragraph of Shema, 3) Levi—the blessings after Shema, and 4) Yehudah—the Amidah prayer. (Based on the discourse "Yehuda Achecha Yoducha 5738.")
Good or Difficult Times?
Video | 18:30
Good or Difficult Times?
Parsha Vayechi and the Tenth of Teves
The portion of Vayechi contains two (seemingly) conflicting components: the seventeen best years of Yaakov’s life were in Egypt and yet the parsha begins with the narrative of his passing and leading to the subsequent subjugation. The resolution is connected to the fast of Teves 10, and offers a timely message for our current exile.
The Mitzvah to Study Torah
Who, What, When, and Why?
Torah study has always been the bedrock of the Jewish People. What are the parameters of this mitzvah, and what’s the ultimate purpose in learning G-d’s infinite wisdom?
Good to Be Buried in Israel?
Parshah Curiosities: Vayechi
Conventional wisdom says that the ideal place for a Jew to be buried is in the land of Israel, yet upon examining classic Torah sources, we surprisingly discover that it’s not that simple—there seems to be conflicting Torah traditions…
Learning the Haftorah: Vayechi
The weekly portion from the Prophets
Egypt, Exile and the Body
Learning from the Rebbe: Episode 26
How is it possible that the best year's of our forefather Jacob's life were spent in Egypt and not in the Holy Land? What does this teach us about the purpose of the soul's descent into the body? Guest Expert: Rabbi Tzvi Freeman. (From “Messages”—Season 4, Episode 26)
Parsha Vayechi, Part 1
Yaakov asked Yosef to fulfill his final request
Ch. 47 verses 28-31: Yaakov lives in the land of Egypt for seventeen years. He will live to the age of 147. Before he dies he calls for Yosef and asks him to take an oath that when he dies he will bury him in the land of Canaan in the Cave of the Macpelah. Yosef agrees to do fulfill his father's request. Yaakov asks him to swear to him and he takes an oath.
Parsha Vayechi, Part 2
Yosef takes his two sons with him so that his father can bless them before he dies
Ch. 48 verses 1-9: Yosef is told that his father is on his deathbed. He takes his two sons with him so that his father can bless them before he dies. He tells Yosef that his two sons would each be counted as one of the tribes of Israel, just as Ruevain and Shimon. Yaakov then explains why he buried Rachel on the road to Bethlehem. Yaakov then sees the sons of Yosef and he asks who they are? Yosef assures him that they are his children. Yaakov then asks him to bring then to him so that he can bless them.
Parsha Vayechi, Part 4
Yaakov gathers his sons and wants to tell them about the end of time but the Divinity of G-d leaves him
Ch. 48 verses 21-22. Ch. 49 verses 1-4: Yaakov tells Yosef that he is going to die, but that Hashem would be with them and return them to the land of their fathers. He then gives him Shechem as an inheritance over and above that of his brothers. Ch. 49 Yaakov gathers his sons and wants to tell them about the end of time but the Divinity of G-d leaves him. He then begins to bless his sons. He begins with the eldest Reuvain, whom he criticizes as being unstable as water.
Parsha Vayechi, Part 5
Yaakov blesses his sons
Ch. 49 verses 5-12: Yaakov continues with Shimon and Levi,he curses their anger. Then he turns to Yehudah who starts to leave thinking his father would criticize him about his affair with his daughter-in-law. Yaakov sensing his concern changes the direction of his words and Blesses Yehudah with words of praise and promise. He would continue to bless the rest of his sons without any words of condemnation.
Parsha Vayechi, Part 6
Yaakov continues to bless his sons
Ch. 49 verses 13-18: Yaakov continues with the blessing of Zevulun, who were the businessman who traveled on the seas. They supported their brother Yisaachar who were the Torah scholars. They were blessed after Zevulun to be successful in their learning and their service to Hashem. Next he blessed Dan whom he referred to as a "serpent on the road." His blessing was an allusion to Samson who was from the tribe of Dan and would judge them for 20 years. He finishes with a prayer for the generations," for your salvation I have waited O L-rd."
Parsha Vayechi, Part 7
Yaakov continues to bless his sons
Ch. 49 verses 19-28: Continues with Yaakov blessing his sons. He blesses Gad, Asher, and Naphtali with short blessings. However, with Yosef he showers him with special blessings and praise. He concludes with the youngest son Binyamin. The Torah concludes his blessing with the words that "he blessed them," to elude to the fact that they were all included in each others blessings.
Parsha Vayechi, Part 8
Yosef, his brothers and families accompanied by Egyptian dignitaries and an army take his father to the Machpelah
Ch. 48 verses 29-33 Ch. 50 verses 1-13: Yaakov finishes blessing his sons. He instructs them once again to bury him in the Cave of the Machpelah in the land of Canaan. He expires and is gathered to his people. Ch. 50 Yosef has his father embalmed for forty days and then the Egyptians mourn for him for thirty days. He then asks Pharaoh for permission to take his father to Canaan to be buried. Pharaoh agrees and he and his brothers and families accompanied by Egyptian dignitaries and an army take his father to the Machpelah. They mourn for their father for seven days at Abel-mizraim. Then they carry him to the cave of the Machpelah for burial.
Parsha Vayechi, Part 9
Yosef makes all the children of Israel swear that they will not leave Egypt without his bones
Ch. 50 verses 14-26: Yosef and his brothers return to Egypt after burying their father. The brothers detect a difference in Yosef attitude towards them. They are concerned that now that Yaakov was dead that Yosef would exact his revenge on them or their children for selling him. They send a messenger to tell him that their father on his deathbed had instructed them to say to him that he should forgive them. He assures them that he will continue to support them and their children. Yosef lives to see great grandchildren. He is the first of the brothers to die. Before he dies he makes all the children of Israel swear that they will not leave Egypt without his bones.
Rabbi Gordon - Vayechi: 1st Portion
Rabbi Gordon - Vayechi: 2nd Portion
Rabbi Gordon - Vayechi: 3rd Portion
Rabbi Gordon - Vayechi: 4th Portion
Rabbi Gordon - Vayechi: 5th Portion
Rabbi Gordon - Vayechi: 6th Portion
Rabbi Gordon - Vayechi: 7th Portion
Vayechi: Family Feud
Unfortunately, it is not totally uncommon to find resentment or bad blood between family members. It almost always starts out small but somehow ends up spiraling out of control. What does Judaism say about family feuds?
Mayanot Moment - Vayechi
When Jacob embraced his estranged son, Joseph, for the first time in years, he recited the Shema. What was the special significance of saying this prayer? Presenter: Rabbi Breitowitz
Mother Rachel's Monument
The story of the world’s first Jewish tombstone!
Learn the biblical story of our matriarch Rachel’s passing and unusual burial at the side of the road, and discover the incredible significance of Rachel’s Tomb.
Related Topics