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Blessings in Bereishit + throughout the Torah


Rabbi Ari Shvat

Kislev 8, 5775
Shalom Dear Rabbi, I have wondered for a long time what aspects the words of Noah to his sons and the blessings of the patriarchs contain. Are the words of Noah really only an allocation of resources or are they also a prophecy of words of God, or a projection made with Ruach HaKodesh, in the sense of foreseeing the future? Is it maybe also meant to be an admonishment for his sons and for future generations? Yitzchak blesses Yacov with the dew of heaven and the fat places of the land, etc. Is it a transfer of formal authority? On the other hand, it does not seem that, in a world-ly sense, political resources or the like were given over to Yacov. If the blessing is prophecy, I ask myself, how this can be explained when Yitzchak actually meant to bestow the blessing on Esav? Could the blessings be seen as a prayer? And could it be said that the prayer of a person as righteous as Yitzchak had special significance? (like by great Chassidic rabbis) At the end of the book of Genesis, Yacov admonishes his sons (and the tribes, their respective descendants?) and also advises them?
The blessings (brachot) written in the eternal Torah are not simply wishes, but are also educational and prophetic, G-dly, and sometimes admonishments, as well. Sometimes, they take even centuries to be fulfilled, and sometimes the human “blesser” at the time, may not even be totally aware of the ramifications (e.g. Bila’am and Yitzchak), but the Heavenly “Blesser”, who wrote them in His eternal Torah, obviously does. Similarly, all of the blessings and prayers of our forefathers which were included in the eternal Torah, have eternal messages, as well. In addition, the interaction of the free-will of man and the G-dly direction of the world, clearly leave room for “self-fulfilling” prophecies, as well, whose time and place of fulfillment also include our human efforts. In other words, it’s complex, because G-d is above time and runs history, but is considerate of the free will of the “blesser” and the blessed.
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