Gut Shabbes! (Vayechi)

This week’s Parsha, Vayechi, tells us about the deaths of Yaakov Avinu and his son, Yosef- two of the most inspiring and well-known men in the Torah. Their deaths both take place within the space of one Sedra, and to the casual observer, this would seem shocking- tragic, even. And yet Rabbi Nachman tells us, “Yaakov Avinu did not die”.

This line, delivered to Rabbi Yitzchok, is derived from the Torah itself. The text avoids using the word “vayamas” (he died), instead employing a series of euphemistic synonyms. Even if, physically, his body passed away, his spirit never died- indeed, the life of a tzaddik such as Yaakov is entirely spiritual, meaning that technically, he never “died” as such. Instead, he lives on through his descendants: you and I. Every single one of us is a descendent of Yaakov, and through our strength, courage, Torah study, and performance of mitzvos, we allow his spirit to live on.

This week, Shabbes candles should be lit at 3:41 PM in London, and Shabbes goes out at 4:58 PM tomorrow. While lighting your candles, please keep in mind Chaim Elozor ben Baila, Moshe ben Genya, Moshe ben Hadasa, Shmuel Yosef ben Soroh Malka, Chashachana bas Bryna and Chaya bas Perel. Thank you, and gut Shabbes!

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