Torah Thoughts and Reflections
Torah-Rashumon: Jacob’s monolog / by Tamar Pelleg
-in lieu of VA’YECHI
I know my time has come, and I must wrap up some things as long as I am still clear and conscious.
I must make sure Joseph is going to bury me in the Machpelah (the Fathers’ tomb).
Leah is buried there.
And Rachel? Where is my Rachel? She is buried somewhere, on the way… all by herself…
When I think about it my heart breaks… oh, Rachel, my Rachel…
And Joseph, I know how much he had loved his mother. And it’s probably hurting him when I ask him to bury me next to Leah and not next to his beloved mother. Maybe he holds grudge against me for burying her “on the way” and not bringing her to Machpelah, and maybe he holds grudge against me for scolding him in front of all his brothers, when he told us his dream… a dream that is now proven to be true… He is the superior and I am submissive.
Now he has both the justification and the power pay me back and bury me “on the way”, In Egypt. Not in the Machpelah.
I cannot trust his promise; I must make him swear on it!
Menashe and Ephraym… When I see the sons of my beloved Joseph, I want to adopt them as my own, to contain them in the blessing I received from God!
My wife bore me two sons. I will add on them these two, I feel as if they are mine and Rachel’s.
I am so excited. I never hoped to see Joseph again and here I am merit to see his sons! And when I see them, I immediately think about you Rachel.
And I am grieving the fact that you didn’t merit to see our grandchildren, God knows how much I would have loved to share with you this moment! You are their grandmother! They are the grandchild of your first born!
But you didn’t live to see this moment. When I was returning from Paddan you died upon me, and I had to bury you there on the road to Ephrath.
Ephrayim is the youngest as were you the youngest!
What a price you paid for it! “It is not the practice in our place to marry off the younger before the older”…We were deceived!
And the right to have my first born was taken away from you!
I am going to correct it NOW!
I am going to bless the youngest, whose name sounds like the place you were buried, and by this I declare (and sending you a message):
I am committed to you! To the youngest who is buried “on the way” to Ephrath even though I will not be buried by her side…
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