Genesis 48
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1  Some time afterward, Yosef was told, “Your father is ill.” So he took with him his two sons, Menashe and Efraim.

א  וַיְהִי אַחֲרֵי הַדְּבָרִים הָאֵלֶּה וַיֹּאמֶר לְיוֹסֵף הִנֵּה אָבִיךָ חֹלֶה וַיִּקַּח אֶת־שְׁנֵי בָנָיו עִמּוֹ אֶת־מְנַשֶּׁה וְאֶת־אֶפְרָיִם׃

2  When Yaakov was told, “Your son Yosef has come to see you,” Yisrael summoned his strength and sat up in bed.

ב  וַיַּגֵּד לְיַעֲקֹב וַיֹּאמֶר הִנֵּה בִּנְךָ יוֹסֵף בָּא אֵלֶיךָ וַיִּתְחַזֵּק יִשְׂרָאֵל וַיֵּשֶׁב עַל־הַמִּטָּה׃

3  And Yaakov said to Yosef, “El Shaddai appeared to me at Luz in the land of Canaan, and He blessed me,

ג  וַיֹּאמֶר יַעֲקֹב אֶל־יוֹסֵף אֵל שַׁדַּי נִרְאָה־אֵלַי בְּלוּז בְּאֶרֶץ כְּנָעַן וַיְבָרֶךְ אֹתִי׃

4  and said to me, ‘I will make you fertile and numerous, making of you a community of peoples; and I will assign this land to your offspring to come for an everlasting possession.’

va-YO-mer ay-LAI hi-n’-NEE maf-r’-KHA v’-hir-bee-TI-kha un-ta-TEE-kha lik-HAL a-MEEM v’-NA-ta-TEE et ha-A-retz ha-ZOT l’-zar-a-KHA a-kha-RE-kha a-khu-ZAT o-LAM

ד  וַיֹּאמֶר אֵלַי הִנְנִי מַפְרְךָ וְהִרְבִּיתִךָ וּנְתַתִּיךָ לִקְהַל עַמִּים וְנָתַתִּי אֶת־הָאָרֶץ הַזֹּאת לְזַרְעֲךָ אַחֲרֶיךָ אֲחֻזַּת עוֹלָם׃

5  Now, your two sons, who were born to you in the land of Egypt before I came to you in Egypt, shall be mine; Efraim and Menashe shall be mine no less than Reuven and Shimon.

ה  וְעַתָּה שְׁנֵי־בָנֶיךָ הַנּוֹלָדִים לְךָ בְּאֶרֶץ מִצְרַיִם עַד־בֹּאִי אֵלֶיךָ מִצְרַיְמָה לִי־הֵם אֶפְרַיִם וּמְנַשֶּׁה כִּרְאוּבֵן וְשִׁמְעוֹן יִהְיוּ־לִי׃

6  But progeny born to you after them shall be yours; they shall be recorded instead of their brothers in their inheritance.

ו  וּמוֹלַדְתְּךָ אֲשֶׁר־הוֹלַדְתָּ אַחֲרֵיהֶם לְךָ יִהְיוּ עַל שֵׁם אֲחֵיהֶם יִקָּרְאוּ בְּנַחֲלָתָם׃

7  I [do this because], when I was returning from Paddan, Rachel died, to my sorrow, while I was journeying in the land of Canaan, when still some distance short of Efrat; and I buried her there on the road to Efrat”—now Beit Lechem.

ז  וַאֲנִי בְּבֹאִי מִפַּדָּן מֵתָה עָלַי רָחֵל בְּאֶרֶץ כְּנַעַן בַּדֶּרֶךְ בְּעוֹד כִּבְרַת־אֶרֶץ לָבֹא אֶפְרָתָה וָאֶקְבְּרֶהָ שָּׁם בְּדֶרֶךְ אֶפְרָת הִוא בֵּית לָחֶם׃

8  Noticing Yosef’s sons, Yisrael asked, “Who are these?”

ח  וַיַּרְא יִשְׂרָאֵל אֶת־בְּנֵי יוֹסֵף וַיֹּאמֶר מִי־אֵלֶּה׃

9  And Yosef said to his father, “They are my sons, whom Hashem has given me here.” “Bring them up to me,” he said, “that I may bless them.”

ט  וַיֹּאמֶר יוֹסֵף אֶל־אָבִיו בָּנַי הֵם אֲשֶׁר־נָתַן־לִי אֱלֹהִים בָּזֶה וַיֹּאמַר קָחֶם־נָא אֵלַי וַאֲבָרֲכֵם׃

10  Now Yisrael’s eyes were dim with age; he could not see. So [Yosef] brought them close to him, and he kissed them and embraced them.

י  וְעֵינֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל כָּבְדוּ מִזֹּקֶן לֹא יוּכַל לִרְאוֹת וַיַּגֵּשׁ אֹתָם אֵלָיו וַיִּשַּׁק לָהֶם וַיְחַבֵּק לָהֶם׃

11  And Yisrael said to Yosef, “I never expected to see you again, and here Hashem has let me see your children as well.”

יא  וַיֹּאמֶר יִשְׂרָאֵל אֶל־יוֹסֵף רְאֹה פָנֶיךָ לֹא פִלָּלְתִּי וְהִנֵּה הֶרְאָה אֹתִי אֱלֹהִים גַּם אֶת־זַרְעֶךָ׃

12  Yosef then removed them from his knees, and bowed low with his face to the ground.

יב  וַיּוֹצֵא יוֹסֵף אֹתָם מֵעִם בִּרְכָּיו וַיִּשְׁתַּחוּ לְאַפָּיו אָרְצָה׃

13  Yosef took the two of them, Efraim with his right hand—to Yisrael’s left—and Menashe with his left hand—to Yisrael’s right—and brought them close to him.

יג  וַיִּקַּח יוֹסֵף אֶת־שְׁנֵיהֶם אֶת־אֶפְרַיִם בִּימִינוֹ מִשְּׂמֹאל יִשְׂרָאֵל וְאֶת־מְנַשֶּׁה בִשְׂמֹאלוֹ מִימִין יִשְׂרָאֵל וַיַּגֵּשׁ אֵלָיו׃

14  But Yisrael stretched out his right hand and laid it on Efraim’s head, though he was the younger, and his left hand on Menashe’s head—thus crossing his hands—although Menashe was the first-born.

יד  וַיִּשְׁלַח יִשְׂרָאֵל אֶת־יְמִינוֹ וַיָּשֶׁת עַל־רֹאשׁ אֶפְרַיִם וְהוּא הַצָּעִיר וְאֶת־שְׂמֹאלוֹ עַל־רֹאשׁ מְנַשֶּׁה שִׂכֵּל אֶת־יָדָיו כִּי מְנַשֶּׁה הַבְּכוֹר׃

15  And he blessed Yosef, saying, “The Hashem in whose ways my fathers Avraham and Yitzchak walked, The Hashem who has been my shepherd from my birth to this day—

טו  וַיְבָרֶךְ אֶת־יוֹסֵף וַיֹּאמַר הָאֱלֹהִים אֲשֶׁר הִתְהַלְּכוּ אֲבֹתַי לְפָנָיו אַבְרָהָם וְיִצְחָק הָאֱלֹהִים הָרֹעֶה אֹתִי מֵעוֹדִי עַד־הַיּוֹם הַזֶּה׃

16  The Angel who has redeemed me from all harm— the lads. In them may my name be recalled, And the names of my fathers Avraham and Yitzchak, And may they be teeming multitudes upon the earth.”

ha-mal-AKH ha-go-AYL o-TEE mi-kol RA y’-va-RAYKH et ha-n’-a-REEM v’-yi-ka-RAY va-HEM sh’-MEE v’-SHAYM a-vo-TAI av-ra-HAM v’-yitz-KHAK v’-yid-GU la-ROV b’-KE-rev ha-A-retz

טז  הַמַּלְאָךְ הַגֹּאֵל אֹתִי מִכָּל־רָע יְבָרֵךְ אֶת־הַנְּעָרִים וְיִקָּרֵא בָהֶם שְׁמִי וְשֵׁם אֲבֹתַי אַבְרָהָם וְיִצְחָק וְיִדְגּוּ לָרֹב בְּקֶרֶב הָאָרֶץ׃

48:16   May my name be recalled

The Hebrew word for ‘name’ is shem (שם). The great master of the Hebrew language, Rabbi Samson Raphael Hirsch, explains that the word shem is related to the word sham (שם), meaning ‘there.’ Rabbi Hirsch explains that by naming and defining something, one puts it in its proper ‘place.’ Here, Yaakov blesses his grandsons Efraim and Menashe, by placing their ancestors’ names upon them, thereby establishing their ‘place’ within the spiritual legacy of their forbears.Comment

17  When Yosef saw that his father was placing his right hand on Efraim’s head, he thought it wrong; so he took hold of his father’s hand to move it from Efraim’s head to Menashe’s.

יז  וַיַּרְא יוֹסֵף כִּי־יָשִׁית אָבִיו יַד־יְמִינוֹ עַל־רֹאשׁ אֶפְרַיִם וַיֵּרַע בְּעֵינָיו וַיִּתְמֹךְ יַד־אָבִיו לְהָסִיר אֹתָהּ מֵעַל רֹאשׁ־אֶפְרַיִם עַל־רֹאשׁ מְנַשֶּׁה׃

18  “Not so, Father,” Yosef said to his father, “for the other is the first-born; place your right hand on his head.”

יח  וַיֹּאמֶר יוֹסֵף אֶל־אָבִיו לֹא־כֵן אָבִי כִּי־זֶה הַבְּכֹר שִׂים יְמִינְךָ עַל־רֹאשׁוֹ׃

19  But his father objected, saying, “I know, my son, I know. He too shall become a people, and he too shall be great. Yet his younger brother shall be greater than he, and his offspring shall be plentiful enough for nations.”

יט  וַיְמָאֵן אָבִיו וַיֹּאמֶר יָדַעְתִּי בְנִי יָדַעְתִּי גַּם־הוּא יִהְיֶה־לְּעָם וְגַם־הוּא יִגְדָּל וְאוּלָם אָחִיו הַקָּטֹן יִגְדַּל מִמֶּנּוּ וְזַרְעוֹ יִהְיֶה מְלֹא־הַגּוֹיִם׃

20  So he blessed them that day, saying, “By you shall Yisrael invoke blessings, saying: Hashem make you like Efraim and Menashe.” Thus he put Efraim before Menashe.

vai-VA-r’-KHAYM ba-YOM ha-HU lay-MOR b’-KHA y’-va-RAYKH yis-ra-AYL lay-MOR y’-sim-KHA e-lo-HEEM k’-ef-RA-yim v’-khim-na-SHEH va-YA-sem et ef-RA-yim lif-NAY m’-na-SHEH

כ  וַיְבָרֲכֵם בַּיּוֹם הַהוּא לֵאמוֹר בְּךָ יְבָרֵךְ יִשְׂרָאֵל לֵאמֹר יְשִׂמְךָ אֱלֹהִים כְּאֶפְרַיִם וְכִמְנַשֶּׁה וַיָּשֶׂם אֶת־אֶפְרַיִם לִפְנֵי מְנַשֶּׁה׃

48:20   By you shall Yisrael invoke blessings

As dictated by this verse, to this day Jewish parents bless their sons each Shabbat with the words, “May Hashem make you like Efraim and Menashe.” Out of all the biblical heroes possible to emulate, what is special about Efraim and Menashe? Rabbi Shlomo Riskin, Chief Rabbi of Efrat, explains that the two sons of Yosef play a very significant role in the formation of the Jewish people. They are the first of Avraham’s family to be born in Egypt, yet despite their physical disconnection from Eretz Yisrael, they remain loyal to the traditions of their ancestors. Efraim and Menashe, therefore, represent a key to the survival of the Jewish people and their return to Israel in the future.  For this reason, they are chosen as special role models for the Children of Israel.1 comment

21  Then Yisrael said to Yosef, “I am about to die; but Hashem will be with you and bring you back to the land of your fathers.

כא  וַיֹּאמֶר יִשְׂרָאֵל אֶל־יוֹסֵף הִנֵּה אָנֹכִי מֵת וְהָיָה אֱלֹהִים עִמָּכֶם וְהֵשִׁיב אֶתְכֶם אֶל־אֶרֶץ אֲבֹתֵיכֶם׃

22  And now, I assign to you one portion more than to your brothers, which I wrested from the Amorites with my sword and bow.”

 

כב  וַאֲנִי נָתַתִּי לְךָ שְׁכֶם אַחַד עַל־אַחֶיךָ אֲשֶׁר לָקַחְתִּי מִיַּד הָאֱמֹרִי בְּחַרְבִּי וּבְקַשְׁתִּי׃

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Genesis 47
Genesis 49

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Genesis 48

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