Shabbat Ends: 5:13
Parsha in a nutshell: Yakov lives the final 17 years of his life in Egypt. Before his passing, he asks Yosef to promise him that he will bury his body in Israel. He blesses Joseph’s two sons, Menashe and Efraim, elevating them to the status of his own sons as progenitors of tribes within the nation of Israel.
Yaakov wants to reveal when Mashiach will come to his children, but didn't end up happening. Hashem didn't want that it should be revealed to us.
Jacob blesses his sons, assigning to each his role as a tribe: Yehudah will produce leaders, legislators and kings; priests will come from Levi, scholars from Isacchar, seafarers from Zevulun, schoolteachers from Shimon, soldiers from Gad, judges from Dan, olive-growers from Asher, and so on. Reuven is rebuked for “confusing his father’s marriage bed”; Shimon and Levi, for the massacre of Shechem and the plot against Joseph. Naftali is granted the swiftness of a deer, Benyamin the ferociousness of a wolf, and Joseph is blessed with beauty and fertility.
A large funeral procession consisting of Jacob’s descendants, Pharaoh’s ministers, the leading citizens of Egypt and the Egyptian cavalry accompanies Jacob on his final journey to the Holy Land, where he is buried in the Marat Ha'Machpelah Cave in Chevron.
Yosef, too, dies in Egypt, at the age of 110. He, too, instructs that his bones be taken out of Egypt and buried in the Holy Land, but this would come to pass only with the Israelites’ exodus from Egypt many years later. Before his passing, Joseph conveys to the Children of Israel the testament from which they will draw their hope and faith in the difficult years to come: “G‑d will surely remember you, and bring you up out of this land to the land of which He swore to Avraham, Yitzchak and Yaakov.
Yaakov blesses his children and assigned each one of his children to their role as a tribe. This shows us that we each play an important role in this world. Every action that we do has a tremendous effect on the Jewish nation. We might not see the effect however, we spiritually cause damage onto ourselves and the Jewish nation when we do a sin. Each and every one of us needs to look within themselves and see what their mission in life is. Ask yourself: What was the reason Hashem needed to create me that I can offer to the world? What do I have that I can change the world, that I can benefit others with? Take this Shabbat to connect to yourself as to what Hashem wants you to give to Bnei Yisrael.
By: Esther Shamayev