This week's parsha is parsha vayechi one of the main topics that happen in this parsha is the event when yaakov can down to mitzraim. He found out is son Yosef was still alive and well. Later on in the parsha Yaakov is coming close to the end of his days. So he tells Yosef to bring him his 2 sons ephraim and menasheh so he can give them a bracha… Yosef brings them in with the oldest son ( menasheh) on the right and the younger one ephraim on the left. When he’s about to give them the bracha he swaps his hands and puts his right hand which in Judaism is more prestigious than the left on the younger brother ephraim and his weaker hand on menasheh. Yosef tries telling his father that it should be the other way around but yaakov said “ the younger brother will be greater” so with Yaakov’s wisdom on how to not embarrass any of his grandsons. Instead of telling them to get up and switch places which would have embarrassed menasheh he thought of the best way to save him from that and so he swapped his hands…. the brachah that he gave to them was“ כאפרים וכמנשה elokim ישמך by you shall israel bless saying ”. This is the bracha that most fathers give to their sons on Friday nights. If you look at the bracha the girl gets it seems like they had it right and not the man. Why the bracha we give a girl is that she be like “sarah Rivka r achel Leah” the 4 emahot. So when you see that you should wonder why don’t we bless our sons the same way with the names of the Avot ? The answer is because ephraim and menasheh where only grandchildren of yaakov and yet they became shavvtim… how’d they do that ?! They worked harder than any of the shavvtim ever had. They were also raised in the worst setting a Jew should be raised in. This also shows how good of a job Yosef did with chiunch for his kids. So the reason we bless our boys to be like ephraim and menasheh is because we are giving them a brachah to work hard in life. But not just to work hard to go beyond the letter of the law. They where only grandsons of yaakov no right to be a leader of a shavvet. But since they worked so hard the became sons in the eyes Of Yaakov.
An idea that I read this week in chavvos halavevos with commentary from Rav avigdor Miller made me think of a way we could go beyond the letter of the law just like ephraim and mensha did. This is how Rav avigdor Miller put it “realizing the 3 Tovs Of Hashem”
Once a person understands and starts working to put the 3 tovs into his life he should start to feel a difference in the way he looks at the world. That it’s actually a world that tov meeod. Once he realizes this about the world a person should start to see Hashem in one of the most important ways Hashem wanted us to to see him. Through nature. When people start to see Hashem through nature there yiras shammayim tends to get a lot better… why is that ? It’s because yiras shammyim doesn’t really mean fear of God. It really means to be aware of him. How so ? Because when you look at the yira it composed of the same letters rieeha which means to see. So we see to properly observe this mitzvah one must have a true sense of Hashem presence in this world as if he can see a Him.
To close with one more though… so why did it say about Moshe rabbenu that he was the humblest person to ever live and that there’d never be another person to be on his level. Most ppl/ mussur sefarim would say because he was humble before all man. Bein adam lechavero. But no chavos halavaos explains being humble differently. He wasn’t just humble before man. He was most humble before Hashem. And how did he get to that point ? It’s because Moshe rabbenu was the only one to ever speak to Hashem panev al panev. Face to face. And what does that mean to us now that we’ve learned what the true meaning of yiras shammyim is?... it means that Moshe was more aware of Hashem than anybody else on the face of the earth. Therefore he was the greatest anav.
I give everyone that listens to this a brachah that they will start to see this world as tov meeod which will lead to us being more aware Hashem and once that happens we will truly be on the path to being humble just as Moshe Rabbenu was.
This is truly going beyond the letter of the law.
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