Rashi (to Bereishis 32:5) says that Yaakov kept the Torah in Lavan's house. Ramban (to 26:5) says that he only kept it inside Eretz Yisrael. Gur Aryeh (to 32:4 and 46:10) says he kept the Aseh's but not the Lo Sa'aseh's. The Ridvaz (Shu"t Ridvaz 696), Maharsha (Yoma 28b "mitzvosai"), Ohr HaChaim (to Bereishis 49:3), Da'as Zekeinim (to 37:35), and Nefesh HaChaim (1:21) all say that Yaakov kept all the Mitzvos.

Why do I give this lengthy background? Because of the fact that Yaakov mourned over Yosef's apparent demise. If Yaakov kept all of the mitzvos, then he would have had to write a Sefer Torah, as commanded in Devarim 31:19. In that Sefer Torah he would have written the fact that Yosef was alive. So how can you tell me that he didn't know that Yosef was alive?

I should clarify that many hold that Yaakov didn't keep the entire Torah. This question obviously wouldn't even start according to them.

  • Obviously he could not have written the Torah as we have it because it had not happened yet. At most it could have been the letters without knowing what the words were. For example, the last eight pesukim in the Torah. There are those who say Moshe wrote those letters without knowing what the words were. Jan 19, 2017 at 14:54
  • @sabbahillel What does that even mean, he wrote the letters without knowing what the words were? (And how does that work with the Gemara that he wrote them in tears?)
    – DonielF
    Jan 19, 2017 at 16:29
  • @DoniefF There are those who say that he wrote the letters without breaking them up into the words that we have so that he did not read about his own death. aish.com/tp/i/moha/48931547.html The Vilna Gaon understands dama, the word which we translate as "tears" to be pronounced in a slightly different manner -- as dema, which would mean "confusion." This implies that these verses were written by Moses, but without Moses understanding the meaning of the words he was writing. (See Kol Eliyahu, v'zot Habracha 133.) Jan 19, 2017 at 17:14


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