Parashat vayehi: Sanctification of death or the freedom of man?

The perspective of death is a tragedy, since man is capable of taking advantage of his life to be moral and advance values of truth and righteousness.

By SHMUEL RABINOWITZ
December 28, 2017 18:24
3 minute read.
THE GIZA Pyramids are seen amid Cairo’s modern buildings

THE GIZA Pyramids are seen amid Cairo’s modern buildings. (photo credit: AMR ABDALLAH DALSH / REUTERS)

This week’s Torah portion of Vayehi, the last of the Book of Genesis, tells of Jacob’s death and his parting from his sons before he dies. Jacob’s 12 sons gather around their father’s bed and listen to his last words, which include special blessings for each one of them and various hints about their future. But before that, Jacob parts from his beloved son Joseph, making him vow to fulfill his last directive: to bury him with his forefathers in the Cave of Machpela in Hebron in the Land of Israel.

Actually, that one directive included two requests that combined to create one: “Do not bury me now in Egypt” and “I will lie with my forefathers… and you shall bury me in their tomb.” (Genesis 47:29-30)

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