web analytics
September 2, 2014 / 7 Elul, 5774
At a Glance
Judaism
Sponsored Post
Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat (L) visits the JewishPress.com booth at The Event. And the Winners of the JewishPress.com Raffle Are…

Congratulations to all the winners of the JewishPress.com raffle at The Event



Home » Judaism » Parsha »

Parshas VaYechi: The Yaakov and Dovid Connection

Leff-122812

Parshas VaYechi describes the last days of Yaakov Avinu’s life and it is therefore appropriate that the haftorah is a description of the last days of Dovid HaMelech’s life (the beginning of Sefer Melochim). But is that the only association? The last days of someone’s life? If so, there are other examples of the last days of someone’s life in Navi that could have been chosen. There must be deeper connections between the lives of Yaakov and Dovid.

Rav Eliyahu Wolf (Sefer Mah SheHaya Hu Sheyeheyeh) describes many other relationships between Yaakov and Dovid. Chazal teach Yaakov Avinu lo meis—he did not really die, he lives on through his descendants. The same is said about Dovid, Dovid Melech Yisrael Chai VeKayam. (The true depth of what these statements mean requires more space than this column; for our purposes it is enough to see the similarity between the two men.)

Yaakov had a son who ruled over him even while he was alive and Dovid did as well – he appointed Shlomo to be king even while he was alive so as to quell Adoniyahu’s (another son) rebellion and desire to rule. Both Yaakov and Dovid felt their energies weakening and were given an inner feeling and warning from Hashem that they were about to die. It gave both of them the opportunity to give over specific instructions to their sons in regards to the proper Torah legacy for Klal Yisrael. Yaakov was buried in Chevron and Dovid began his rule in Chevron in order to connect with Yaakov and the Avos as a firm foundation in launching Malchus Yisrael. There are many other connections mentioned by Rav Wolf as well. In fact, Rav Wolf cites a Riconti who writes that Yaakov and Dovid were like twins in the many similarities of their lives.

While these connections between Yaakov and Dovid are interesting, is there a practical message for us? Many times we feel as if no one has ever experienced what we are going through. No can understand us; no one can relate to my story and my dilemma. But this is not true. The Torah addresses all people, and all problems. One has only to look into Torah, study her stories and personalities, and one will find insights, lessons, and solutions to every issue. What happened to Dovid already happened to Yaakov.

Travels And Travails

Within the story of Dovid’s instructions to Shlomo is a fascinating insight described in Rav Shimshon Pincus’s sefer Tiferes Torah.

When Dovid HaMelech was on his deathbed, he instructed Shlomo regarding Shimmi ben Geira, who had cursed Dovid while he was fleeing from his son Avshalom. Dovid decided not to punish Shimmi for being moreid b’malchus, for rebelling against the king, a crime deserving of death, but on his death bed asked Shlomo to “take care of him,” to use wisdom in carrying out a capital punishment, and not just execute him.

Shlomo sent for Shimmi and ordered him never to leave Yerushalayim. He told Shimmi that if he crosses the Valley of Kidron, he would die. Shimmi accepted the arrangement. This lasted for three years, but then some of Shimmi’s slaves ran away and Shimmi left Yerushalayim to chase after them. Shlomo got word that Shimmi left the city and had him executed.

Rav Chaim Shmuelevitz asks how Shlomo knew that Shimmi was going to leave Yerushalayim. His father asked him not to let Shimmi die a normal death. In the end, the plan succeeded. But why was Shlomo so confident that his plot would work?

Rav Chaim Shmuelevitz answers that Shlomo understood human nature. When someone is told, “This is where you have to remain and you can’t leave for the rest of your life,” even if he agrees, human nature is such that eventually that person will falter and leave. Why is this so?

Rav Pincus explains (based on the Gemara in Chagiga 12a) that when Adam HaRishon was created he was so tall that he was able to see from one end of the world to the other. After he sinned with the eitz hadaas, Adam shrunk. Now, Rav Pincus states that this midrash is not meant to be taken literally. However, he says that this characteristic, this natural curiosity about the world remained. This is the reason we enjoy going places and seeing new locales. This is why locking someone up, not allowing him to travel as he wishes, is torture for a person.

About the Author:


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.

No Responses to “Parshas VaYechi: The Yaakov and Dovid Connection”

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
Hamas' Ismail Haniyeh would replace Abbas chairman of the Palestinian Authority if elections were held today.
Poll: Hamas Would Rule Judea and Samaria in New Elections
Latest Judaism Stories
shofar+kotel

If you had an important court date scheduled – one that would determine your financial future, or even your very life – you’d be sure to prepare for weeks beforehand. On Rosh Hashanah, each individual is judged on the merit of his deeds. Whether he will live out the year or not. Whether he will […]

The_United_Nations_Building

It is in the nature of the Nations of the World to be hostile towards the Jewish People.

Taste-of-Lomdus-logo

First, how could a beis din of 23 judges present a guilty verdict in a capital punishment case? After all, only a majority of the 23 judges ruled in favor of his verdict.

Of paramount importance is that both the king and his people realize that while he is the leader, he is still a subject of God.

Untimely News
‘A Mourner Is Forbidden To Wear Shoes…’
(Mo’ed Katan 20b)

Question: The Gemara in Berachot states that the sages authored our prayers. Does that mean we didn’t pray beforehand?

Menachem
Via Email

When a person feels he can control the destiny of other people, he runs the risk of feeling self-important, significant, and mighty.

Needless to say, it was done and they formed a great relationship as his friend and mentor. He started attending services and volunteered his time all along putting on tefillin.

He took me to a room filled with computer equipment and said, “You pray here for as long as you want.” I couldn’t believe my ears.

On Friday afternoon, Dov called Kalman. “Please make sure to return the keys for the car on Motzaei Shabbos,” he said. “We have a bris on Sunday morning and we’re all going. We also need the roof luggage bag.”

On Chol HaMoed some work is prohibited and some is permitted. According to some opinions, the work prohibition is biblical; according to others, it’s rabbinical.

If there is a mitzvas minuy dayanim in the Diaspora, then why is there a difference between Israel and the Diaspora in the number of judges and their distribution?

Judaism is a religion of love but also a religion of justice, for without justice, love corrupts.

The time immediately preceding Mashiach’s arrival is likened to the birth pangs of a woman in labor.

More Articles from Rabbi Boruch Leff
Leff-081514

“When a mother plays with her child there is an acute awareness of the child. But even when the mother works at a job or is distracted by some other activity, there is a natural, latent awareness of her child’s existence.

Kotel and Temple Mount

The Three Weeks determines the “who we are and how we live” as Jews.

Sometimes when Chazal say that two different people are really one, they do not mean it literally, but rather figuratively.

Yehoshua knew that the outcome of the battles would depend not on military might, but on the spiritual strength of Klal Yisrael.

The question begs: how in the world can we accept that Bnei Yisrael en masse did not ever keep the mitzvah of shemittah?

Someone who focuses only on the bones of the Torah makes his bones dry and passionless.

While our purpose in this world is to use our free will to choose good, to overcome our tests and challenges, part of that choosing should include a deep wish that we wouldn’t even have the ability to sin.

King Achav reports back to his wife, Queen Izevel, thoroughly dejected. It seems Eliyahu has defeated them and their idolatrous practices. The nation would no longer worship Baal and return once again to serving Hashem. This threatened Achav and Izevel’s entire hold on their kingdom.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/judaism/parsha/parshas-vayechi-the-yaakov-and-dovid-connection/2012/12/27/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: