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Dvar for Vayechi (Genesis 47:28-50:26)

Yaakov blesses his children and grandchildren, including the famous “hamalach hagoel” bracha (blessing) for Yosef’s two children, Ephraim and Menashe, to be protected (48:15-16). Curiously, Yaakov’s bracha starts by acknowledging the G-d of his father and grandfather, but the blessing itself is for the angel that protected Yaakov to protect the children. Why would Yaakov’s bracha call for an angel to protect the children when G-d’s protection would presumably be preferable?

The Limudei Nissan (Rav Nissan Alpert) explains that while G-d’s intervention typically involves open miracles, the children headed to exile would benefit from subtle influence. Throughout Yaakov’s life, he struggled with Eisav, Lavan, Dena, Yosef, and others. While each circumstance’s resolution was positive, achieving that fruitful result often seemed stressful and traumatic.
Seeing G-d’s indirect influence in our lives requires patience and focus on the silver lining that can sometimes be hiding in difficult situations. It could also be why the blessing itself is for us to multiply like fish – we are to grow naturally, with hidden guidance from conduits of G-d, namely angels, nature, and the world around us. If we recognize the positives in our lives, we’ll merit a life filled with personal and communal redemption.