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Vayechi - Sheini

Something's Fishy

Yaakov's vision wasn't great. Yoseif brought his sons near his father, who kissed them. "I never thought I'd see YOU again," he told Yoseif, "but G-d even allowed me to see your sons!"

Yoseif took his sons and positioned them properly for their blessing, with Ephraim on Yaakov's left and Menashe on his right. Yaakov crossed his hands so that his right hand would be on the younger's head and his left on the elder's.

Yaakov started with the blessing familiar to us as "HaMalach HaGo'eil Osi," in which he prays that the angel dispatched by G-d to watch over him should bless the boys; they should bear Yaakov's name, as well as those of Avraham and Yitzchak, and be prolific in the land. (The word that they should be prolific is "v'yidgu," meaning to increase like fish, "dag" in Hebrew.)

Author: Rabbi Jack Abramowitz