General Overview: This week’s Torah reading, Vayechi, discusses Jacob’s final years. Shortly before his passing, Jacob blesses Joseph’s children as well as his own. A massive funeral procession escorts Jacob’s body to Canaan. The reading, and the Book of Genesis, concludes with Joseph’s death.
Aliya Summary: Jacob lived his last seventeen years in Egypt. When Jacob sensed that his days were numbered he summoned Joseph and asked him to promise that he would bury him in Israel. Joseph acceded to the request. When Jacob then fell ill, Joseph visited him, accompanied by his two sons, Menashe and Ephraim. Jacob conferred upon Ephraim and Menashe the status of tribal progenitors, a status hitherto enjoyed only by Jacob’s sons. Joseph asked his father to bless Ephraim and Menashe.