web analytics
September 18, 2014 / 23 Elul, 5774
At a Glance
Judaism
Sponsored Post
Apartment 758x530 Africa-Israel at the Israel Real Estate Exhibition in New York

Africa Israel Residences, part of the Africa Israel Investments Group led by international businessman Lev Leviev, will present 7 leading projects on the The Israel Real Estate Exhibition in New York on Sep 14-15, 2014.



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
The beheading of British aid worker David Haines, Sept. 14, 2014. The terrorist standing beside him threatened that his fellow British aid volunteer, Alan Henning, would be next if UK Prime Minister David Cameron doesn't relinquish his support for the fight against ISIS.
British Muslims Plead for ISIS to Free Captive Alan Henning
Latest Judaism Stories
Taste-of-Lomdus-logo

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

Questions-Answers-logo

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

Daf-Yomi-logo

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.

This week’s parsha offers a new covenant; a covenant that speaks to national life unlike any other

All Jews are inherently righteous and that is why we all have a portion in the World to Come.

If mourning is incompatible with Yom Tov, why is it not incompatible with Shabbat?

Since it is a Rabbinic prohibition we may follow the more lenient opinion.

How can the Torah expect me today, thousands of years after the mitzvahs were given, to view each mitzvah as if I’m fulfilling it for the first time?

Torah isn’t a theological treatise or a metaphysical system but a series of stories linked over time

In contrast to her Eicha-like lamentations of the previous hour or more, however, my youngest was now grinning from ear-to-ear.

An Astonishing Miracle
‘Why Bring the Infants to Hakhel?’
(Chagigah 3a)

More Articles from Rabbi Boruch Leff
Leff-091214

All Jews are inherently righteous and that is why we all have a portion in the World to Come.

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.

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.

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: