Striving Hard, Now by David Pietruska

1996/5756

            The Torah tells us about יעקב's blessing given to יוסף and his children.  The Pasuk says שכל את ידיו (מח:יד) יעקב put his right hand on אפרים and his left on מנשה.  Rashi on פסוק י comments that this switch was done because יעקב looked at the lineage of מנשה and he saw that his descendant would be גדעון who was a great person, but אפרים was going to have יהושע who was greater.  Rabbi Moshe Feinstein writes that a message we could learn from this is that even if one's child is a great Torah scholar, a parent should still encourage the child to become greater.  The reason why we bless our children ישימך אלוקים כאפרים וכמנשה "Hashem should arrange that you be similar to Ephrayim and Menashe," is because they received the blessing with the same intensity and level.  מנשה was not jealous and אפרים did not become arrogant because he got the blessing.  Theirs was a perfect relationship that we must try to emulate.  It is important to live together amongst Jews in harmony and love each other no matter what individual blessings Hashem bestows upon us.

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