This week’s Torah Portion marks the end of the tales of Genesis, the legendary tales of the legendary lives of our ancestors from long ago: Abraham and Sarah; Isaac and Rebecca; Jacob, Rachel, and Leah; and finally Joseph. And while their lives were far from perfect, each in their own way displayed the courage, faith, determination, and wisdom to do more than just survive, but to fulfill their destiny as the ancestor of a people, our people, numbering like the stars in the sky and the sands of the sea.
We are the children of a hundred generations of our people, the descendants of greater ancestors than perhaps any of us can imagine ourselves to be. And yet, more importantly, we are and will be the ancestors which generations to come will look back upon as the builders and shapers of the world they will inhabit, for better and for worse, for blessing or for curse. Let us be good ancestors for ourselves, for our families, and for the generations yet to be.
Jacob blesses his grandchildren Ephraim and Manasseh. (48:1-20)
Jacob’s twelve sons gather around his deathbed, and each receives an evaluation and a prediction of his future. (49:1-33)
Joseph mourns his father’s death and has Jacob embalmed. Jacob is buried in Hebron in the cave of the field of the Machpelah in the land of Canaan. (50:1-14)
Joseph assures his concerned brothers that he has forgiven them and promises to care for them and their families. (50:15-21)
Just before he dies, Joseph tells his brothers that God will return them to the Land that God promised to the patriarchs. The Children of Israel promise Joseph that they will take his bones with them when they leave Egypt. (50:22-26)