Wednesday, January 03, 2007

My boys

Parshat VaYehi

In 45:8-9 we find Yosef bringing his two sons, Menashe and Efraim, to be blessed by Yaakov before he passes away. They approach Yaakov and Yaakov asks, "ויאמר מי אלה? ויאמר יוסף אל אביו בני הם" - Yaakov said Who are they? an Yosef said to his father They are my sons.

Rashi explains that Yaakov asked how he could have such descendants as Yeravam, Ahab and Yahu from Efraim and Menashe, and maybe because of these descendants they are not worthy of the blessings.

Yosef responded to Yaakov by saying "בני הם" - they are my sons.

What happens later does not matter. For better or worse they are still our children, and therefore deserving of our love - deserving of your brachos.Leave the later problems for later, do not deny them the brachos just because of things that will happen later.

5 comments:

shaya g said...

same lesson as yishmael. why do we not use the same loshon here though to make the same point - "bi'asher hu sham"?

Rafi G said...

I thought about that and considered using the oshon "ba'asher hu sham" in my post. I did not because I felt there was a reason rashi did not say it. I did not know why, but just figured it might not be the point.

I am thinking about it now and it seems correct. Yosef was no saying ba'asher hu sham. he is looking at his kids and saying they are my kids and even if they are bad (which they are not) they still deserve your blessings. Bless them because they are my children. The fact that they will have descendants that will act evil is not relevant. They are still my sons.

That is different than saying, they have not yet done anything wrong.

shaya g said...

that's fine, but why the diff? Yosef actually makes them sound worse then. bi'asher says - hey look at these kids, not their descendants. banai hem says -I on't care if their bad or not, their my kids, bless 'em. they takeh are great kids, but that's not the point. it's the impression he gives off. he then in fact has to qualify them by saying "ki'reuven v'shimon".

shaya g said...

god I can't type this morning.....sorry

Rafi G said...

different goals. By yishmael the debate was whether to let him die of illness in the desert or let him live. So the angel said ba'asher hu sham - the fact that he is not so bad right now is a good enough reason to let him live.

Here we are talking about brachos. The price is not wuite as high as life or death. So no need to come on to ba'asher hu sham...

maybe