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17 votes
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If the Torah says that Yaakov was blind, how could he see Yosef's sons?

Rashi doesn't address it, but other commentators do. The Ibn Ezra, Rashbam, Sforno, and Chezkoni all agree on this: Yaakov was "legally blind" to the point that he could not see any details, but was ...
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15 votes
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Where were Yaakov's sons buried?

Yerushalmi Sota 8b Chapter 1 Halacha 10 says that all the 12 Shevatim were taken to Eretz Yisrael by their Shevet. תלמוד ירושלמי סוטה דף ח' ע"ב, פרק א' הלכה י' – ככתוב בראשית מו אנכי ארד עמך מצרים ...
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12 votes

"May God make you like Ephraim and like Manasseh" -- in what way?

I heard nice explanation from my rabbi Boruch Myers. As they grew up observant in non-jewish society, so we bless our children that outside influences shouldn't influence them.
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11 votes
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"May God make you like Ephraim and like Manasseh" -- in what way?

Ephraim was the younger son and yet he exceeded Menashe, his older brother. The Bnei Yisoschar says that there were two possible negative reactions to this - Menashe could have been jealous of Ephraim ...
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10 votes

How was Reuven considered Yaakov's first drop of semen?

One possibility is that the verses in Chapter 29 are not in precise chronological order, and verse 31 actually took place before verse 28. That is to say that God saw that Leah was hated and opened ...
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9 votes

How was Ya'akov allowed to favor Yosef over Re'uven?

I heard once from Rabbi Dovid Fohrman that this was exactly the question that the sons of Yaakov were challenging him with. Bereishis 37:32 וישלחו את-כתונת הפסים, ויביאו אל-אביהם, ויאמרו, זאת מצאנו: ...
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8 votes

Of what would Yosef been suspect in Ya'akov's eyes (Rashi on Breishit 50:16)?

They told him that Yaakov left a request of him to forgive the brothers and not take revenge on them as recorded in the next passuk. Rashi is saying that Yaakov never suspected Yosef of harboring ...
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7 votes

Why did Esav care about burial in machpelah?

According to Rabbi Munk in his commentary on Vay'chi, it is because Esav was attempting to deny that he had sold his "birthright" completely. That is, he claimed that he had sold the "first born" ...
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7 votes
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Joseph's interpretation of 7 years of famine - was his prediction false?

Even though the famine ended when Yaakov gave the bracha to Par'o (Ramban) they still needed food during the growing season and they needed seeds to plant for the new season. Up until now, the famine ...
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7 votes

What was Yaakov's funeral procession doing in Transjordan?

Another two approaches by mainstream Peshat Mefarshim: Shadal here (and Clint Eastwood in the comments above) suggests that for Moshe and Benei Yisrael, Ever Hayarden is Eretz Yisroel, because they ...
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7 votes

Brothers don't kill brothers?

First, it always pays to see Rashi's sources, and to see if the question is answered there, even if the shorter version Rashi presents does not provide us with an easy answer. In this case, the source ...
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6 votes

Where was Goren H'Atad physically located?

Chidushei Yitzchak ben Pinchas says that there were two locations known as Goren H'atad. One was in the Western part of Eretz Yisrael near where the Philistines were at the edge of the Yam HaGadol. ...
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6 votes

What was Yaakov's funeral procession doing in Transjordan?

All the answers that I've come across suggest that Ever HaYarden does not mean Transjordan in the context of this verse. Chizkuni suggests that that the Canaanites who are observing the mourning at ...
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5 votes

If the Torah says that Yaakov was blind, how could he see Yosef's sons?

The Baal HaTurim here says to see what he wrote in parshas Vayeitzei 29 17 ועיני לאה רכות. There he says there are three psukim that start similarly. That one, ועיני ישראל כבדו מזקן & ועיני ...
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5 votes

Why did Yaakov give Yosef Shechem 'one more than his brothers' specifically?

Derishos Shabbos - The Apta Rav - page 231 - top left says that Shechem was given as payment for Yosef taking care of Yaakov's burial, which the other brother's were unable to do. ושכם הרי אינו ...
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5 votes

Why was Yoseph the first of Ya'aqov's sons to die?

This is addressed in Brachos 55a. The reason given is that he conducted himself ברבנות. Seemingly an excessive degree of acting in command. דא״ר חמא בר חנינא מפני מה מת יוסף קודם לאחיו מפני שהנהיג ...
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4 votes

Joseph's Garment- Made or hand me down?

The מעם לעז says Yaakov avinu added the sleeves, which is why it says ועשה. Yaakov made the sleeves for the cloak which originally belonged to Adam HaRishon.
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4 votes

What "end" was Yaakov prevented from revealing, and to what extent does S'forno disagree?

Rashi says - as I've always been taught - that Yaakov intended to inform them the time of the final redemption. רש"י ואגידה לכם. בקש לגלות את הקץ ונסתלקה ממנו שכינה, והתחיל אומר דברים אחרים (ב"ר ...
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4 votes

"May God make you like Ephraim and like Manasseh" -- in what way?

Here are a couple more explanations: The Or HaChayim (ad loc.) writes that Ya'akov gave Ephraim and Menasheh the maximum possible blessing. Therefore, people would give blessings accordingly and ...
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  • 16.2k
4 votes

What is the iniquity of the Emorites?

It is apparent from 15:16 which you quote that Emorite is the nation chosen to represent all the nations of Caanan. In fact in the artscroll English chumash it says as much. The Medrash Rabba that ...
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4 votes

Why don't we hear about Ya'aqov's other sons mourning his death?

The Stone edition of the Chumash relates, Although the other brothers were surely as aggrieved as Joseph, only he is mentioned because his presence in Jacob's final moments was a fulfillment of God's ...
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4 votes
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Why didn't Yosef's brothers bury him where he asked?

The OP quotes a verse that has Yoseph saying: "When G-d comes to you..." Yosef planned on being buried in Egypt. He simply wanted to leave when everyone else did. By that time, his brothers had ...
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4 votes

Why didn't Yosef's brothers bury him where he asked?

As I explain in Vayigash - Why didn't the family go back?, Par'o only allowed Yosef to bury Yaakov in Eretz Yisrael because of the oath Yaakov had made him swear. Even then, he forced the brothers ...
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4 votes
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Heter for Embalming Yaakov

Although yeshiva.co writes that it is a lack of Kavod Hameis to perform (nowadays), many Rishonim and Acharonim on Chumash say or imply that this was done because of Kavod Hameis back then... To ...
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4 votes

Why did Yakov ask for a favor from Yosef instead of commanding him?

R' Samson Raphael Hirsch, in his commentary on this verse, reads the first נא as "after all." He suggests that Yosef had always wanted to use his power as viceroy to do favors for his father, but ...
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4 votes

Where were Yaakov's sons buried?

As stated by @Gershon Gold, the locations are disputed. The following is the version from Sefer Seder Ha'dorot: ויקברו את ארונות מטות אבותיהם בנחלת בניהם, את ראובן וגד בעבר הירדן ברומא, ושמעון ולוי ...
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  • 20.2k
3 votes

Why was Shechem designated as a city of refuge?

Schechem was chosen likely because it was a large city in the left middle third of Eretz Yisrael. Look up a map of the 6 cities. They are spaced out. Just because is was a city of refuge doesn't make ...
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3 votes

"May God make you like Ephraim and like Manasseh" -- in what way?

Efraim and Menashe were the first pair of Jewish brothers in the Torah who lived in peace with each other. We therefore bless our children that they too should live in peace. R Shraga Simmons at Aish ...
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3 votes

"May God make you like Ephraim and like Manasseh" -- in what way?

Rabbi Zweig gave an amazing answer. You can read the whole thing here (in a week this link will become invalid and I will try to replace it with a permanent link). Here is the main part of his answer: ...
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  • 5,240
3 votes

How was Ya'akov allowed to favor Yosef over Re'uven?

Indeed, in Devarim 21:16 - 17 it states that the father cannot favor the son of the beloved wife over the older son of a hated wife. But that is with all else being equal, with the only reason one ...
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