Parshas Vayechi

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The names of Yosef’s two sons.

 Menasheh received his name because, “God has caused me to forget (NaSHaNi) all my hardships and all that was in my father’s house”(41:51)This expressed how Yosef was pained by the fact that he found himself in a place which made him forget his father’s house.  Efrayim was named, because “God has made me fruitful (hiFRani) in the land of my subjugation” (ibid. 52)expressing how Yosef had succeeded in Egypt.

Menasheh and Efrayim thus represent the two different reactions that a Jew has to being in exile. On the one hand he longs to leave the exile and return to “his father’s house.” But, on the other hand, since he finds himself—by Divine Providence—in exile, he realizes that there is a mission to be carried out there and he toils to succeed.

Menasheh was the firstborn because first of all a Jew needs to feel “out of place” in exile, to ensure that he does not assimilate. But the primary purpose of being in exile is to succeed in Divine service there—which is why Ya’akov wished to bless Efrayim first.

(Based on Likutei Sichos vol. 15, pp. 432-4)


Some time ago Kol Menachem launched an online classroom for Jews on the go – ‘Torah in Ten’. The series provides weekly insightful conversations on the current Torah portion. The class includes interesting commentaries from renowned historical figures as well as modern views in addition to thought provoking and inspiring questions.Announcing his new idea Rabbi Miller wrote: “In this go, go, go world we live in, it can be difficult to sit down and find time to study the weekly parsha. And when shabbos rolls around, we all wish we had studied more and could contribute to the conversation at the shabbos table. Not to mention our children, don’t we all wish we could provide them beautiful insights into the weekly parsha?”.

‘Torah in Ten’ is now available not only from a computer. Asked by Jewish iPhone Community and many more iPhone users Kol Menachemkindly agreed to change the format of presentation so that weekly portion of ‘Torah in Ten’ was available to be watched on iPhone’s/iPad’s screens. Nu, now then, what kind of excuse will you come up with? Torah in Ten will take place every Thursday, for ten minutes. Let’s sum up with Rebbe’s words: “Our task is solely to illuminate the world with the light of  Torah, Judaism and Chassidus”.

“Torah In Ten” videocast by Rabbi Chaim Miller – Parshas Vayechi 

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