This week’s Parsha has an especially nostalgic sentiment to it, in that I learned it for the first time in 4th Grade with R’ Mordechai Zucker Shlit”a. We learned it with a distinct jingle that I will never forget.
I hope that everyone had a restful vacation. Just in case you did not have time to prepare a vort for Shabbos here is a little something…
Quickie/Funfact: It is stated in the second pasuk of this weeks parsha,
Breishis 37:3 “This is the history of Yaakov; Yosef at the age of seventeen years, would tend the sheep with his brothers, and the lad was with the sons of Bilhah, and the sons of Zilpah, his father's wives. Yosef brought back bad reports (Dibatan Ra'ah) about them to their father.
Rashi remarks on this verse that Yosef’s reports on his brothers was not just a simple tattle but he was in fact, telling his father that his brothers were taking part in a grave sin. One of cruelty and insensitivity. A sin so cruel, that it is listed as one of the seven mitzvos of Bnei Noach. They were eating the limb of a live animal!
The Question is however, how did Rashi know that this is what Yosef had told his father? The Baal Haturim answers, that the Gematria of “bad reports (Dibatan Ra'ah)” is the same as, “They were eating the limb of a live animal (Shehem achlu Ever Min Hachai)”.
As a result of the relationship of Tamar and Yehuda, two beautiful boys are brought into this world. A peculiar event happens during their births however. As the “first” child Zoreach, sticks his hand outside of the womb Yehuda ties a rope around his wrist anticipating the baby’s birth. Suddenly and amazingly Zoreach pulls his hand back into the womb and out comes the real first born son, the father of the Messiah himself, Peretz.
Rabbi Yaakov Kaminetsky in his work, Emes LiYaakov, tells us that this story is not just a paranormal occurrence, but in fact has a message that we all can carry with ourselves for the rest of our lives.
Often times we jump to conclusions and are disappointed when our initial expectations do not come to fruition. This story with Zoreach and Peretz is telling us that the Messiah will come, but when we least expect it. We might assume that because of certain events in the world or in history that the Mashiach is on the horizon. The truth is however that this is in Hashem’s hands to decide not ours. Patience is a Virtue.