My Torah Tidbits this shabbat told me that Vayigash is the only Parsha in the Torah to end before a "paragraph break". (Is this true?)
This got me to look more closely at the beginning of Vayechi, and how it connects to the end of Vayigash.
And Joseph made it a statute concerning the land of Egypt unto this day, that Pharaoh should have the fifth; only the land of the priests alone became not Pharaoh's. And Israel dwelt in the land of Egypt, in the land of Goshen; and they got them possessions therein, and were fruitful, and multiplied exceedingly.
And Jacob lived in the land of Egypt seventeen years; so the days of Jacob, the years of his life, were a hundred forty and seven years. And the time drew near that Israel must die; and he called his son Joseph, and said unto him: 'If now I have found favour in thy sight, put, I pray thee, thy hand under my thigh, and deal kindly and truly with me; bury me not, I pray thee, in Egypt. But when I sleep with my fathers, thou shalt carry me out of Egypt, and bury me in their burying-place.' And he said: 'I will do as thou hast said.' And he said: 'Swear unto me.' And he swore unto him. And Israel bowed down upon the bed's head.
And it came to pass after these things, that one said to Joseph: 'Behold, thy father is sick.' And he took with him his two sons, Manasseh and Ephraim. And one told Jacob, and said: 'Behold, thy son Joseph cometh unto thee.' And Israel strengthened himself, and sat upon the bed. And Jacob said unto Joseph: 'God Almighty appeared unto me at Luz in the land of Canaan, and blessed me,
And he charged them, and said unto them: 'I am to be gathered unto my people; bury me with my fathers in the cave that is in the field of Ephron the Hittite, in the cave that is in the field of Machpelah, which is before Mamre, in the land of Canaan, which Abraham bought with the field from Ephron the Hittite for a possession of a burying-place. There they buried Abraham and Sarah his wife; there they buried Isaac and Rebekah his wife; and there I buried Leah. The field and the cave that is therein, which was purchased from the children of Heth.' And when Jacob made an end of charging his sons, he gathered up his feet into the bed, and expired, and was gathered unto his people.
I'm asking many questions here, but really they are all the same question, but I don't know how to phrase/word it. So I would appreciate if answers incorporated all questions.
The begining of Vayechi is the death of Yaakov. The rest of Vayechi, are acts and deeds that Yaakov does. At the end of Vayechi, we are told of the death of Yaakov. Why does Vayechi start with his death, to then go on as if he was not yet dead?
After the "paragraph break", the parsha continues, "And it was after these things that Yaakov etc.." Obviously it can't mean after the death of Yaakov, but it does fit nicely with the ending of Vayigash as we break it up. So what is going on here?
Lastly, Rashi says that Vayechi starts with a "closed parsha", but does not at all comment on Vayigash ending in the middle of a "paragraph" (nor does anyone else) Yet it's Vayigash that seems to be unique in its "bizzare" ending. In fact, if Vayigash ended with the death of Yaakov, it wouldn't be all that strange to then say 'And it was after these things", where "these things" refer to all of Vayigash. But now that it is split this way, the parsha makes little sense. So why does Rashi, and other commentators only mention this oddity in Vayechi, and not mention it in Vayigash?