<i>Vayechi</I>: Comfortable Lives in Foreign Lands

Why was the Divine Spirit was removed from Yaakov?

Aloh Naaleh,

Arutz 7
In the beginning of parashat Veyechi, Rashi explains that the parasha is "closed" because Yaakov wanted to reveal the end (i.e., the time of the final redemption), and thus the Divine Spirit became "closed" to him.

The Kli Yakar explains the purpose of removing the Divine Spirit from Yaakov and what was achieved by it. Knowing the timetable of the end of the exile is detrimental to the Jewish people, because when they know that the redemption will only occur in the future, they will not pray for it to come in their own generation. They will then build permanent, comfortable and luxurious homes in foreign lands. The standard of living will be so high that they will never really pray to God with a sincere heart to bring them back to their
Knowing the timetable of the end of the exile is detrimental.
promised homeland.

This point is proven in the last verse of parashat Miketz: "And Israel dwelt in the land of Goshen and took hold of the land." Yaakov's children knew that the Egyptian exile would not end during their generation and, therefore, they settled in the land of Goshen and took possession of it. Life was good and they felt very comfortable living in Egypt. It was only the slave labor and suffering that made their descendants pray for redemption.

In order to prevent repeating the same scenario in future generations, the Divine Spirit was removed from Yaakov. Thus, the people of Israel would constantly pray for the final redemption and not settle permanently in foreign lands.

Regretfully, we today are witness to many Jews who build themselves luxurious permanent homes in the exile and live comfortable lives in foreign lands. May God help all the Jews of the exile see that the "beginning of the redemption" has already arrived, and that the time to build permanent homes and settle the Promised Land is now and today.
Chaim Liberman lives with his family in the Binyamin town of Michmas. He works as a traffic planner and road designer for the Department of Housing and Construction, developing new neighborhoods in towns and cities all over Israel. 

The foregoing commentary was distributed by the Aloh Naaleh organization.