web analytics
September 22, 2014 / 27 Elul, 5774
At a Glance
Judaism
Sponsored Post
Meir Panim with Soldiers 5774 Roundup: Year of Relief and Service for Israel’s Needy

Meir Panim implements programs that serve Israel’s neediest populations with respect and dignity. Meir Panim also coordinated care packages for families in the South during the Gaza War.



The First Blessing To Grandchildren

Cohen-Rabbi-J-Simcha

Question: Is there special significance to the blessing Yaakov gave his grandsons?

Answer: HaGoan HaRav Yitzchok Hutner, z”l, the rosh yeshiva of Yeshivat Rabbeinu Chaim Berlin, once said that anything a person does in this world, no matter how creative or unique, will be equaled, or surpassed, by someone else at a later date. There is, however, one exception to this rule. Namely, the quality of being first. Being first is an achievement that can never be equaled or excelled.

Accordingly, it is of interest to examine the first time a berachah was granted to grandchildren: when Yaakov blessed Menashe and Efriam. This is how the berachah begins: “Hamalach hagoel oti mi’kol ra yevarech et hane’arim – The angel who protected me from all bad should bless the children.”

Note how Yaakov shifts responsibility from himself to an angel to make the actual blessing. His rationale must have been that an angel, more than he, will know the true dreams and goals of Menashe and Efraim. An angel can discern what a child really needs in order to achieve stature, success, and fame. It was, therefore, the angel who was given the power to bless.

What was the actual berachah? “Vi’karei va’hem she’mi v’sheim avotai Avraham v’Yitzchak… – That my name be declared upon them and that of my forefathers, Abraham and Isaac….” The inference is that grandparents should not be forgotten. Grandparents (especially after the Holocaust) built the foundations of the family and should not be deemed “past history.”

When a name is given at a brit milah, we say, “Vi’karei shmo b’Yisrael… – May he be called in Yisrael….” This is not just an introductory phrase. It is a prayer: May this child be known in Israel. May he bring kavod and glory to his people. May the world hear about him and acclaim his accomplishments. 

About the Author: Rabbi Cohen, a Jerusalem Prize recipient, is the author of eight sefarim on Jewish law. His latest, “Jewish Prayer the Right Way” (Urim Publications), is available at Amazon.com and select Judaica stores.


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

One Response to “The First Blessing To Grandchildren”

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
A Muslim social media campaign against ISIS was begun by the British Active Change Foundation.
Muslims Tell ISIS: #NotInMyName [video]
Latest Judaism Stories
Teens-091214-Shofar

Hamas’ tunnels were destroyed as were plans for their unparalleled terror attacks on Rosh Hashana.

Hertzberg-092614

Perhaps the most important leadership lesson Elkana taught us is to never underestimate the difference a single person can make.

Teller-Rabbi-Hanoch-NEW

“he’s my rabbi” the Black painter said with pride, pulling out a photo of the Rebbe from his wallet

Rabbi Avi Weiss, head of theYeshivat Chovevei Torah. Rabbi Asher Lopatin will be replacing him as head of the school.

The Torah notes that even when we are dispersed God will return us to Him.

Simply, for Rambam the number 14 (2×7) was his favored organizing principle.

One of the cornerstones of our Jewish life is chesed, kindness. Chesed can only be taught by example

Our understanding of what is and what is not possible creates imagined ceilings of opportunity for us.

This young, innocent child gave me a powerful, warm surge of energy and strength.

The Chafetz Chaim answered that there are two forms of teshuvah; teshuvah m’ahava and teshuvah m’yirah.

Question: I recently loaned money to a friend who has been able to repay only part of it. This was an interest-free loan. We exchanged a signed IOU, not a proper shtar with witnesses, since I have always trusted her integrity and only wanted a document that confirms what was loaned and what was repaid. Now that shemittah is approaching, what should I do? Should I forgive the loan? And if my friend is not able to repay it, may I deduct the unpaid money from my ma’aser requirement?

Name Withheld

A Role Reversal
‘Return, O Wayward Sons…’
(Chagigah 15a)

When the Kleins returned, however, they were dismayed to see that the renters did a poor job cleaning up after themselves.

In Parshas Re’eh the Torah tells us about the bechira to adhere to the commandments of Hashem and refrain from sin. In Parshas Nitzavim, the Torah tells us that we have the choice to repent after we have sinned.

As Moshe is about to die, why does God tell him about how the Israelites will ruin everything?

Jonah objected to God accepting repentance based on ulterior motives and likely for short duration.

More Articles from Rabbi J. Simcha Cohen
Cohen-080814-Sign

Is God apologizing for taking away my Father? Is God telling me that He is sorry?

Cohen-Rabbi-J-Simcha-NEW

Question: At Birkat Kohanim, who says the phrase, “Am k’doshecha ka’amur”?

Question: How can one determine whether someone is a true disciple of a rav, Rebbe, or rosh yeshiva?

Question: Does halacha agree with the Supreme Court decision of Roe v. Wade permitting women to have abortions?

Question: When someone puts on a talit to lead services, should he recite a berachah?

Question: A number of synagogues feature bar mitzvah celebrations for elderly Jews. Is this proper?

Hashem understood their complaint and therefore selected the ritual mitzvah of sukkah to test them.

Question: Why is Shavuot celebrated as a two-day Yom Tov?

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/judaism/halacha-hashkafa/the-first-blessing-to-grandchildren/2014/01/09/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: