The Understated Alteration- Entitled Gratitude, Learning vs. Earning, and Parshat Vayechi

This week’s parsha, which mainly focuses on our forefather Yaakov’s final request and blessings to his children before he passes away, contains several confusing stories. First, Yaakov makes two independent requests of Yosef to buried in Canaan, and then asks his other sons the same. Then, he does something even more peculiar when Yosef presents Menashe and Efraim for a blessing- he switches his hands, putting his stronger (right) hand on the younger son, and his weaker one on the older son. With all of the excitement surrounding this big switch, very little attention is paid to another switch that happens a little bit further on in Yaakov’s final blessings.

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