vayechi

The Fullness of the Gentiles (Parashat Vayechi)

Every Friday night we bless our sons according to this blessing, “May God make you like Ephraim and Manasseh.” What is this whole blessing business that Jacob is doing? What is this pattern of blessing he establishes, and why do we desire our sons to be like Ephraim and Manasseh, rather than Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob or like any of Jacob’s other sons? Speaking of Ephraim, Jacob told Joseph, “His offspring shall become a multitude of nations” (Genesis 48:19).

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