web analytics
November 29, 2014 / 7 Kislev, 5775
At a Glance
Judaism
Sponsored Post
IDC Herzliya Campus A Day on Campus

To mark IDC Herzliya’s 20th anniversary, we spent a day following Prof. Uriel Reichman, IDC’s founder and president, and Jonathan Davis, VP for External Relations, around its delightful campus.



Home » Judaism » Parsha »

Parshas Vayigash: Why did Serach Live Such A Long Life?

Shemos Rabbah states that Yaakov transmitted the “secret of the redemption.”

Leff-120613

This is all wonderful, but how does it all connect with Serach? Be patient.

Hashem initially intended for people to live forever.  The Arizal states that if Adam and Chava would have been patient on that first Friday and refrained from eating from the Eitz HaDaas until Shabbos, Hashem would have given them to eat of the Eitz HaChaim and then from the Eitz HaDaas.  They would have eaten from the tree which provides eternal life, and then would have been granted permission to eat from the one tree forbidden to them.

One of the consequences of their cheit was death, as Hashem had forewarned, “For on the day that you eat [from the tree], you shall surely die” (Bereishis 2:17). Ramban explains that this was not to be taken literally – they didn’t die on that day, but rather brought mortality on themselves and their descendants.

After the cheit, Hashem decreed that Adam would live to be 1,000 years old. (He lived for 930 because, as the Midrash explains, when he saw that David HaMelech was destined to die as an infant, he donated seventy years of his life to him.)

Later, as a result of further transgressions, man’s lifespan was shortened even more. Rashi (Bereishis 6:3) explains that Hashem was disappointed with mankind’s misdeeds and decreed that he will live no more than 120 years. For example, Adam lived to 930, Shem to 600, Avraham to 175, Yaakov to 147 and Moshe, 120. Man’s lifespan was diminished further, according to the Malbim, after the Mabul. Until then, there were no extremes in seasons; the weather was always comfortable. After, Hashem established regular seasonal changes and a weakening of the human condition. The lack of ability to withstand these constant changes in weather resulted in a shortening of man’s lifespan.

Bringing together the kingdoms of Yehudah and Yosef, the Ten Tribes and the Two Tribes, is a big part of the world’s ultimate tikkun, the rectification toward Oneness, and return of the world to a Gan Eden state. Serach played a huge role in achieving this unity by convincing Yaakov to go down to Mitzrayim and reunite his family.  Through her actions, Serach helped recreate the unity of Gan Eden, the unity we pray will come in Yemos HaMashiach.

And these are some of the happenings in this week’s haftarah.

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.

One Response to “Parshas Vayigash: Why did Serach Live Such A Long Life?”

  1. Interesting you mention the Oneness of creation, Rabbi. While working on a "toy" and the rough-draft of the "manual" that comes with it, I started playing with the theme of One being the largest of numbers, because it is the smallest common denominator of all numbers- a multiple that fits evenly in any number, no matter how large. No number can exist without the One, and even prime numbers can be broken down by the One. Another concept behind this "toy" is the idea of two equal, yet opposed, parts coming together to make a whole (where each piece on its own is weak and the polar opposite of the other, when they are put together, they form a solid staff). This "toy" can have far more practical applications for the modern world, but when I came up with it, themes of unity, and respect for both the little ones and the big One kept popping up. Sadly, while I see the beauty in creation when I use this toy or imagine its uses once all the additional components are in place, I am stuck trying to get others to understand it. When I see a tree, I see the layers and layers of fibers that support it. Each grain is weak on its own, but when bundled together, they can support tremendous weight. Break it down even further, and we see individual cells forming together in complex arrangements to make the tree, as well as all other living things. Beyond that, the atomic and subatomic level, and who knows how much deeper it gets, but when you start to look from the bottom up, you start to see the beauty of this vast and complex system that is built piece by piece, one by One. And while this system allows for a lot of complexity, there is still this divine simplicity behind it that allows it all to come together and to interact in all the various ways to make life possible. This "toy" I've been playing is extremely crude in comparison, but even so, I think it has value to teach and inspire, as well as completing a few other, practical tasks at the same time. I've offered this system to various entities in the past year, but my words fail me and without having every component in play, it's a hard sale. To be honest, the themes of unity and the reverence for the natural world would be lost if most of those entities were to pick up the concept…from the start, it felt like this "toy" belonged with one group of people first. I'm little more than nothing myself though, and nobody listens to nothing. But for what it's worth, articles like these give me a peace and an understanding that I didn't have before…the Sunday-school teachers and preachers of my youth left me with a great uneasiness and an inability to unify the multiple angles that had been thrown at me. Thank you, Rabbi.

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry .
NYT Ignores US Condemnation of PA Incitement, Prints Info on Ferguson Cop
Latest Judaism Stories
Parsha-Perspectives-NEW

A person who truly feels that everything is a blessing from G-d will count his blessings and realize just how much he has.

The Story of Jacob and Esau (2010) 11 x 19, bronze relief by Lynda Caspe. Courtesy Derfner Judaica Museum – Hebrew Home at Riverdale

Yaacov returns the stolen blessing of material wealth and physical might to Esav

Rapps-Rabbi-Joshua-logo

The Jew, from the perspective of the name Yaakov, is dependent on the non-Jewish world. This can be seen today in the relationship between the State of Israel and the United States

Lessons-Emunah-logo

Yet, ultimately, looking back, these “setbacks” turned out to be really for the patient’s best – for the good.

In the afternoon, he reached into his pocket to check for the money, but it was empty. “The $50 bill must have fallen out,” Alex exclaimed. “It’s got to be in one of the rooms I was just at.”

Although the conversion ceremony involves more than circumcision and immersion, these are the two essential requirements, without which the conversion is ineffective.

Question: If Abraham was commanded to circumcise his descendants on the eighth day, why do Arabs – who claim to descend from Abraham through Yishmael – wait until their children are 13 to circumcise them? I am aware that this is a matter of little consequence to our people. Nevertheless, this inconsistency is one that piques my curiosity.

M. Goldman
(Via E-mail)

Rashi in Shabbos 9b writes that the reason why the tefillah of Ma’ariv is a reshus is because it was instituted corresponding to the burning of the eimurim from the korbanos – which was performed at night.

It almost sounds as if Hashem is saying, “I have to keep Yaakov from getting too comfortable; otherwise he will forget Me. I can’t promise him sustenance because then he won’t need Me. He won’t write. He won’t call. He won’t love Me anymore.”

The Decree Of 1587
“Two Kabs Of Dinars Were Given…To King Yanai”
(Yevamos 61a)

Simply too many cases of prayers being answered to deny it makes a difference to our fate. It does.

Prayer is our language: Hakol kol Yaakov – the voice is the voice of Jacob – the voice of prayer.

Jacob cries, overcome by the knowledge that his great love for Rachel will end in unbearable pain.

There’s a perfect mirror between Jacob running away from Esav to when he reunites with his brother.

Yitzhak called you Esav and you answered him, then he called you Yaakov and you also answered him!”

More Articles from Rabbi Boruch Leff
Leff-111414

If you’re always battling against getting older, you’re always going to be unhappy.

Leff-101014-Zecharia

Hashem created all human beings and it should sadden us when Hashem, their Father, does not see nachas from them.

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

“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?

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/judaism/parsha/parshas-vayigash-why-did-serach-live-such-a-long-life/2013/12/06/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: