Daily Aliya for Vayechi, Chamishi (5th Aliya)
Aliya Summary: Gad was blessed with bravery in battle. Asher’s blessing: an abundance of olive oil. Naphtali was blessed with the speed of a deer. Joseph was recognized for his charm, suffering, and righteousness, and was showered with a variety of blessings.
When blessing Yosef, Yaakov says that his blessings surpassed his father’s blessings, and so should Yosef’s blessings surpass his (Yaakov’s) blessings. Blessings are a curious thing, especially from father to son. If the son grows and accomplishes things, it reflects on his parents and they and their memory is blessed as a result. That means that father/son blessings build on themselves, becoming exponentially better. The same can be said of Jews in general. If a Jew does something good, it not only reflects on themselves, but also on Judaism, which increases the blessings for all Jews. As an example, when someone like Matisyahu represents himself as a thoughtful and proper Jewish singer, people might feel better about Jews, and that helps everyone be more tolerant, which might embolden others to display their Judaism, which might be observed by others who might do the same, etc. We don’t know what snowball we might be starting, but hopefully they’re of a positive variety.
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