In this week’s Parsha, Vayechi, Yakov blesses his children and grandchildren, including the famous bracha (blessing) for protection for Yosef’s two children, Ephraim and Menashe (48:15-16). Curiously, Yakov’s bracha starts by acknowledging the G-d of his father and grandfather, but the blessing itself is for the angel that protected Yakov to protect the children. Why would Yakov’s bracha be for an angel to protect the children when G-d’s direct protection would presumably be preferable?
The Limudei Nissan (Rav Nissan Alpert) explains that while G-d’s intervention previously involved open miracles, Yakov and his children headed to exile would benefit from the more subtle influence of a messenger of G-d. Throughout Yakov’s life, he had trouble with Eisav, Lavan, Dena, Yosef, and others. The resolution of each circumstance was positive, but the process of achieving that productive result was often stressful and traumatic.
Seeing G-d’s indirect influence in our lives requires our focus on the hidden silver lining in every difficult situation. If we choose to see the sometimes hidden positives in our lives, we’ll be blessed to live a life filled with personal redemption. Yakov’s blessing is for us to not only recognize extraordinary miracles, but to appreciate the miracles of the ordinary.