Parshas ויחי completes ספר בראשית which is also called ספר הישר and the ספר יצירה. This is a פרשה סתומה where Rashi gives two reasons why. When Yaakov was נפטר, the eyes and hearts of כלל ישראל were closed, and when יעקב wanted to מגלה the קץ, it was נסתם ממנו. The fact that יעקב wished to reveal the קץ, means that this is also the beginning of the Geula. The Parsha ends with a huge space, more than all other Parshios, since it leads into שמות which is called ספר הגאולה. Rav צדוק הכהן says ספר בראשית has twelve פרשיות. Hashem created the world with twelve boundaries, and there are twelve שבטים and twelve months. Since בראשית is ספר היצירה and the תורה is the blueprint of the world, בראשית is the blueprint of creation, and divided into twelve Parshios. Breishit corresponds to the first generation and ויחי the last פרשה, corresponds to the last generation, one of concealment, the דור סתום. Yaacov and Yosef, the leaders of כלל ישראל pass away- מערת המכפלה is closed, that is no more Avos- we are a דור יתום.
Parshas ויגש is the first stage of גלות, but at least Yaakov was alive. Parshas ויחי is much more difficult. Teves is a month that’s סתום, as we lost נבואה with the פטירה of עזרא הסופר, and י”ם was placed in a siege. The month of טבת corresponds to our generation, עקבתא דמשיחא. The אבות דר” נתן, a פרוש on פרקי אבות, says the עקב is the מלאך המות of the body, since the nerves are more or less dead. Our generation is a dead and insensitive one. The עקב is the farthest part of the body from the head- the דעת, and thus represents אמונה, which is our lifeline today- ואמונתך בלילות. When the times are dark, we must rely on אמונה. The yidden, when going into the gas chambers, and when they were in the most difficult of times, cried out שמע ישראל. Yaacov wished here to reveal the קץ. To what benefit would there be to tell his sons that the משיח would come in another 3000 years. Yaakov wished to bring the קץ himself as it says in pasuk מט:א ואגידה לכם את אשר יקרא אתכם באחרית הימים. If Yaakov was referring to our generation, he would have said אשר יקרא אותם. However the שכינה had left him. Most say that that יעקב wanted to reveal the קץ of the future. Yaakov wanted to reveal the details of how to endure the long Galus. Hashem didn’t want this, since experiencing all the נסיונות of Galus with pure faith אמונה- would result in so much more שכר for the yidden.
Why does it say in the first Rashi, ונסתם ממנו, and later in the פרשה it says that the שכינה had left him – נסתלקה ממנו? Yaakov wanted to convey that even when the yidden are in גלות, there will be different קצים, where they will be visited with the light of the future, for example חנוכה ופורים. When it says נסתם ממנו, it refers to פורים, where in the time of מרדכי ואסתר, there was still נבואה, however it was closed to יעקב (in the first רשי). When it says נסתלקה ממנו, in פרק מט:א, it refers to חנוכה when there was no נבואה. It also says the word האספו, hinting that the key to the גאולה is the unity, the אחדות of כלל ישראל. The question is why was thirty three years deducted from Yaakov’s life, when his father יצחק lived 180 years, and יעקב only 147? The בעל הטורים says that when לבן accused יעקב and his family of stealing his idols, and יעקב said אם אשר תמצא את אלה-יך לא יחיה, that 33=יחיה, and so 33 years were deducted from his life – “קללת חכם אפילו על תנאי”… The place where he said this, was גלעד.
In Parshas ויגש pasuk מז:ט, Yaakov is complaining to Pharoh that his life was very difficult- מעט ורעים. For this one year was detracted from his life for every word he used. There are only 25 words in this pasuk. However in the previous pasuk ח, there are another eight words, totally 33. Pasuk ח, is פרעה asking Yaakov how old he was. Why should he be “punished” for these words? Rav Chaim Shmuelevitz says because Yaakov was sad and complaining, he looked very old, and warranted that פרעה should ask him how old he was. Therefore Yaakov was also responsible for invoking the question of פרעה. Another reason given was, when Yaakov wished to reveal what will take place in אחרית הימים, in פרק מט, there are thirty three פסוקים. The חתם סופר, says that the goyim are not שייך to the number thirty three, as לבן is לב נתיבות החכמה . The Rambam says in the הקדמה לספר טהרות that there are לב אבות הטומאה.The number thirty three is associated with Geula- לג בעומר. This is the first time אחרית הימים is written in the תורה, referring to our time. Our last generation of גלות, will be the first of גאולה, the אחרית will become theראשית . Yosef tells his brothers that there will be two Pekidos – פקד יפקד one from מצרים, the source of all גליות, and the final פקידה from all גלות.
In טבת a yid cries out לישועתך קויתי ה”” which is in the ברכה that יעקב gives to דן. Rashi tells us that שמשון who descends from חשים בן דן, is equated to דוד המלך. Yaakov first sees the ישועה in Shimshon, who went down- (below 10 tefachim- Chanuka) into the קליפה in order to bring out the sparks of kedusha found there. After he saw that שמשון died, he said that the only salvation is Hashem- לישועתך קויתי ה”. Chushim was silent, as he was deaf and dumb. In טבת, which is the month of דן, we were dumbfounded- silent. Jerusalem, the city of praise and song, was in a siege. In the הפטרה it says that דוד המלך ruled in י”ם for thirty three years. There is a מדרש that says that דוד המלך should have been born a נפל or stillborn, but he was given seventy years from אדם הראשון. Another says that these thirty three years that יעקב אבינו lost, due to his complaining, went to דוד, together with thirty seven years that יוסף gave. Yosef lived 110 years, thirty seven less than his father Yaacov.
David HaMelech rectified this פגם of not praising and thanking Hashem enough, by being the sweet singer of praises especially when he was going through harsh and difficult tests, as it says in Tehilim מזמור לדוד בברחו מפני אבשלם בנו. David was singing while running from his son that was seeking to kill and dethrone him. The גמורה says that having a rebellious child is worse than מלחמת גוג ומגג. And so דוד was זוכה to those thirty three years. The whole ספר תהילים is full of song and praises to Hashem even while experiencing צרות. Really there are 147 Tehillim, since the first two perakim are really one, and also the same in another couple of places. These 147 Tehillim exactly parallel the 147 years of יעקב אבינו. Also דוד המלך was the thirty third generation from אדם הראשון.
Another תיקון is on חנוכה, the י”ט of להודות ולהלל, and during the rest of the year where our אמונה dictates to us that we have to thank and praise Hashem for things even that we perceive them as not good- Yosef looked at everything in a positive light- ואתם חשבתם עלי רעה אלה-ים חשבה לטובה. When a yid perceives a certain situation as bad or threatening, he has to know that everything is for the good, even if it’s hard to see right now and this is what will bring משיח. Chizkiyahu lost out from being משיח because he lacked in his praising and thanking Hashem after the whole army of Sanherev was wiped out overnight- מלך המשיח=453=אלה-ים חשבה לטובה When משיח will come, we will see that all is good, and עשרה בטבת will be a י”ט and טבת will be התחלת דגאולה- קרע שטן=729=חודש טבת. This fits in with what the ארי הקודש says that the combination of the month of טבת comes from the last letters of לה” אתי ונרוממה שמו – היהו, where Hashem’s name backward manifested in מדת הדין. The combination of the lowest month of the year, representing the lowest -שבט Dan, is full of the highest praises of Hashem. Even us, or especially us, in the darkest and lowest generation, have to fill our words with gratitude and praise to the creator.
Yaakov wanted to be buried in מערת המכפלה because he was the true בכור. Esav – נצרות claim they are the בכור, however Hashem says בני בכורי ישראל. Esav’s head was buried in מערת המכפלה which represents the גרים that come from him. The מכת בכורות was supposed to be in טבת, as מכת חשך was in כסלו. The מכה was to the בכור- Esav and he was not buried in the מערה, but Yaakov was. The whole purpose of מכת בכורות is to be מבדיל and bring out the בני בכורי ישראל. In Parshas ויחי, Yosef is claiming that מנשה is the בכור, but Yaakov is teaching Yosef that the בכור is not genetic, but has to be deserved. Yaakov said to Yosef אני נתתי לכם שכם אחד – I gave to you the בכורה instead of Reuven, as you Yosef deserve it. Rashi says that Yaakov was giving Yosef שכם as a reward for burying him in מערת המכפלה, and the second peshat is that שכם is the extra portion, the בכור. Yaakov has to be buried in the מערת המכפלה so that everyone knows that he is the בכור and notעשו . The מגלה עמוקות says that Yosef is Chanuka- עין שין ויו=512=להדליק נר חנכה=512=שכם אחד על אחיך.
The way to remove Esav is בחרבי ובקשתי, through tefilla, שיר ושבח to the Almighty. The Ari Tzal says that the מצרי that Moshe killed in Parshas שמות, was a נצוץ of . Moshe killed him using the שם תכה. The name תכה is the acronym of כל היום תהילתך and the ס”ת of ולך נאה להודות, both representing tefilla חנוכה פורים=425=תכה.
The אמרי נועם, the Jikover Rebbi, says that the ten מכות began in Nisan, חשך was in כסלו, as it says היה אור במושבתם, and so מכת בכורות should have been in טבת, but pushed of till Nisan. As כסלו and חשון were rewarded with חנוכה and the חנוכת הבית השלישי respectively, since their months were pushed off, טבת will be the התחלת דגאולה as מכות בכורות was pushed off. The only time in תנ”ך that טבת is written is when אחשורוש married אסתר on ר”ח טבת, the day עשו was killed by חשים, as quoted by the שם ושמואל. The בת עין says that אברהם אבינו was born and נפטר on ר”ח טבת. Hashem promised אברהם that he would live a long life – תקבר בשיבה טובהthe acronym of טבת – . נר חנוכה=339=שיבה טובה Avraham illuminates טבת and the מדרש says ויהי אור, the first light is אברהם, after the twenty generations of darkness – חשך על פני התהום.
The last words of יעקב are to בנימין, saying ולערב יחלק שלל, where רשי says ולערב refers to נבוכדנצר שיגלם לבבל, which took place on עשרה בטבת, and יחלק שלל refers to מרדכי ואסתר who are from בנימין and who divide the spoils of Haman. The Gemorra callsמרדכי , a tree that gives off a pleasant fragrant –ברוש and אסתר is called Shachar- יחלק שלל=508=ברוש=508=שחר, and so יחלק שלל refers to both מרדכי and אסתר. In the time of אחרית or ערב, when the הסתרה is great, we are זוכה to the י”ט of פורים. Onעשרה בטבת , Bavel rose to power and onPurim, Bavel is destroyed. Vashti was the last remnant of Bavel. ושתי המלכה=816=ולערב יחלק שלל
The אבודרהם says that if עשרה בטבת would fall out on שבת which it never does, it would דוחה שבת. He learns it from a ג”ש of הזה בעצם היום from יה”כ – לפני ה” תטהרו=816=ולערב יחלק שלל In the middle of preparation for פורום, we have שובבים and שלל=360=שובבים, where the yidden are מתקן all their פגמים. The last of the thirty three פסוקים of פרק מט, saysויגוע ויאסף אל עמיו where רשי says that it doesn’t say מיתה, thus יעקב לא מת. In the darkest times, like in טבת ושבט, a yid could always מקשר himself with the מידה of יעקב אבינו that is- יעקב אבינו לא מת=722= טבת שבט. Dan is compared to יהודה and שמשון is compared to דוד. At the very end of his life, when שמשון was blinded, he begs Hashem and cries out לישועתך קויתי ה”. When things look bleak or we need שמירה, we cry out לישועתך קויתי ה”.
Our generation is one of דן –שמשון –חשים, where we are blind and deaf to the אמת, and we have to rely only on Hashem. The עבודת ישראל says the שם הויה is not mentioned in ויגש or מקץ since these are פרשיות of גלות. The next time יה-וה .. is mentioned is by the ברכה to דן, where it says לישועתך קויתי ה”. A yid always hopes for ישועת ה”. The משיח is hinted for the first time in פרשת ויחי in the Bracha to Yehuda לא יסור שבט מיהודה ומחקק מבין רגליו עד כי יבא שילה –משיח=358=יבא שילה, and משה=345=שילה which stands for משהיה הוא שיהיה. We mentioned before that דן was compared to יהודה. The Gemorra says that חשים בן דן killed עשו whereas the ירושלמי and the ספרי say יהודה killed עשו. Tosfos says there’s no contradiction- that חשים wounded him severely and יהודה finished him off. The combination of Yehuda, the greatest שבט, and Dan, the lowest שבט is what killed Esav.
There are two opinions of who represents the month of טבת. Like we said, the ארי הקודש says that טבת is דן, whereas the יערת דבש says that טבת is יהודה. Interesting enough it was both that built the משכן and theבהמ”ק , that is בצלאל from יהודה and אהליאב from דן were responsible to build the משכן. Shlomo HaMelech from יהודה and חירם whose mother was from דן, and father from נפתלי, built the בהמ”ק. Hashem wanted his house to be built from the highest tribe and from the lowest, demonstrating the אחדות of כלל ישראל, like the מנורה which was made of מקשה אחת, one solid piece. Also טבת, or דן has a מזל of a גדי, and ניסן or יהודה has a מזל of a טלה. These two are the only animals that are כשר for the קרבן פסח. Yaacov compared דן to a נחש, who is always crawling on its belly, ‘low down’, but משה רבינו called דן — גור אריה, the same as יהודה, hinting that we could raise up the month of טבת to that of ניסן . Like we said מכות בכורות was supposed to be in טבת, but pushed off till ניסן. The first twelve days in ניסן are the days the נשיאים sacrificed their קרבנות in the משכן. The tenth of Nisan was the day that דן was מקריב. On this day was מכה מצרים בבכוריהם, that there was a civil war among the מצריים, one of the main reasons we have שבת הגדול which took place then on י ניסן. We see another connection of מכות בכרות and טבת and – חנוכה פורים= 425=גור אריה
It says in יחזקאל “וסמך מלך בבל על י”ם”. The חתם סופר says that כתר=620=בבל ירושלם, which could be כתר or כרת. נבוכנצר tried to מבלבל the holy city of י”ם. The tenth of Teves could go either way. Teves and תמוז are sister months, טבת being the fourth month from תשרי and תמוז being the fourth month from ניסן. Both are ימי דין, and have fast days in both. Dan is טבת and ראובן is תמוז. Both of these months will have a tikun. The ספר יצירה says that טבת was created with the letter ע, and the Ari Tzal says that the month of תמוז is כנגד the עין, the eye. The סגולה we usually say to ward off any עין הרע is המלאך הגאל אתי מכל רע …This Bracha to יוסף is a specific tikun for the months of טבת and Tamuz- טבת=411=אתי and חודש תמוז=771=אתי מכל רע. Fish multiply and there is no עין הרע on them, since they are covered under water. We have to נהפך the עין רע to an עין טוב, and transform עשרת בטבת to a Yom Tov – בית המקדש =861=וידגו לרב בקרב הארץ=861=סמך מלך בבל אל ירושלם It saysה” כהרף עין ישועת, which simply means that Hashem’s salvation comes in a blink of an eye. We can also say that the salvation of Hashem comes, when we remove- הפרה, the ע – ( the רע of the 70 nations).
The צירוף of Hashem’s name forניסן is ישמחו השמים ותגל הארץ –
ישמחו השמים ותגל הארץ=1500=חודש טבת חודש תמוז. These two months will be בשלמות like Nisan, whose combination is ישמחו השמים ותגל הארץ. Why does it say סמך מלך instead of saying siege in לשון צר ? The word סמך could have been support in the positive, like in the time of חזקי-הו, when all the army of Sancherev was wiped out, while חזקי-הו slept. If the yidden would have done תשובה, this could have also been a similar scenario. Every year has a potential for this “סמך”. The סמך is saying what the חתם סופר says that עשרה בטבת is on the future, which could be and will be a support, a סמך for all yidden.
Yaakov came down to Egypt with ע נפש to counter the ע לשונות. Upon entering מצרים Yaakov recites the שמע which has a big ע in it, again to counter the ע לשונות. The חתם סופר says that עגלות or ע גלות is written four times representing the ארבע גליות. The first Galus was seventy years and then came פרס ומדי. There were seventy days in between the death and the burial of Yaakov, when the Egyptians and the nations participated in the burial. Because of this there were seventy days of fright between the first and second letters sent out by אחשורוש.
The reason Yaakov is giving the Brachos now is that he knew that his life would be cut short ואני בבאי מפדן מתה עלי רחל- ויחי מח:ז. If not for the death of Rachel, Reuven wouldn’t have sinned concerning his mother Leah. He felt that his mother Leah was always second in the eyes of Yaakov, and now that Rachel died, she should be first. There also wouldn’t have been מכירת יוסף. The dream of Yosef was that beside the eleven stars- brothers that would bow down to him, also the שמש וירח would- Yaakov and Rachel. Yaakov and the brothers, including Reuven thought that Yosef’s dream was false since the ירח, Rachel is not alive. If Rachel wouldn’t have died, the dream would be true and the עולם התיקון would have come.
The truth was that the ירח was Bilah, who was the one who brought up Yosef and Binyamin besides דן ונפתלי. Yaakav said in וישב לז:י- מה החלום הזה אשר חלמת הבוא which spells out רחל מתה. In וישב לז:כ the pasuk says ונראה מה יהיו חלמתיו where Rashi says that this was רוח הקדוש. The שבטים are not sarcastic and would not say that if we kill Yosef, we’ll see what happens to his dreams. There was a בת קול. The next pasuk says וישמע ראובן and the ילקוט ראובני says that only Reuven heard the בת קול. The dream was אמת and Yosef is a צדיק. Then ויצלהו מידם and now Reuven saw his error in moving the bed out of Bilah’s tent, and he did תשובה. Only in the Bracha of Yaakov, is Reuven chastised for his mistake, and not before. Yaakov was saying that the history of the world was changed because of Rachel’s death. If she wouldn’t have died there would not have been an עשרה בטבת=988=בבואי מפדן מתה עלי רחל.
The number of פסוקים in ויחי is 85. The סימן given (by big חכמים) is פה אל פה. Parshas ויחי which completes בראשית, leads right into the ימי שובבים. The main spiritual work in these holy weeks, are to מתקן our many blemishes, the main ones being תיקון הברית and תיקון הלשון which are interdependent on each other. Maybe this is what the סימן of פה אל פה is hinting to us, that is- the tikun of our speech- פה and the tikun of the ברית where מילה=85=פה. The root cause of the חורבן בית המקדש was the חטא המרגלים which was a פגם in דיבור. Similarly the גלות מצרים began from דבתם רעה also a blemish in speech. In Parshas מקץ pasuk מב:כא, the brothers of Yosef realize why they are going through all the צרות, which all originated with the bad speech the brothers said on each other- עשרה בטבת=988=על כן באה אלינו הצרה הזאת. Chanuka is the tikun for the מהדרין מן המהדרין=713=הצרה הזאת. We say each day the famous words עת צרה היא ליעקב וממנה יושע meaning that from the midst of the suffering, Hashem brings the salvation – כסלו טבת=527=וממנה יושע. Chanuka which connects כסלו to טבת is a tikun for the צרה and enables us to endure the Galus כה כסלו=141=וממנה. May we all merit rectifying ourselves in these areas, and in doing so bring closer the coming of משיח – (ספר שמות is called ספר הגאולה).