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Beit Midrash Torah Portion and Tanach Vayechi

Bereishis - the stories' Chumash

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Our weekly portion Vayechi wraps up the book of Bereishis.

HAZAL teaches us that the main reason that the first Chumash (out of five) of the Torah contains mainly stories and not Halachic rules, is because these stories are there to teach us that first, you need to work on your Derech Eretz (way of life) and only then you can be given the Torah by God. Our Forefathers are the greatest examples of Derech Eretz and we should learn from them.

For example, let's talk about integrity. If a person is honest, it changes his prayer from one end to the other. His prayer becomes more important because he means every word he speaks with God. He takes it seriously.

Hazal, tell us that Jacob never died. The Gemara states that it is clear that he is not alive since the people have eulogized him and buried him, however, Jacob is considered alive all the time because he has a continuation of his lineage, and as his offspring continue on his path of truth it is considered that he continues to live on, because they are expressing the level of truth which is his essence, and the truth lasts forever.

May all of us continue along the true path of our forefather, Jacob. Shabbat Shalom!
Rabbi Zalman Baruch Melamed
Rosh Yeshiva of the Bet El Yeshiva, was the head of the Yesha rabbis board and rabbi of Bet-El, founder and head of Arutz 7.
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