Torah.org Home Subscribe Services Support Us
  LifeLine
Print Version

Email this article to a friend

VAYECHI

by Rabbi Yaakov Menken


"Zevulun will settle by the seashore... Yissocher is a bony donkey, lying between the borders." [49:13-14]

Rashi explains that Zevulun will live near shipping ports, engaging in business and providing sustenance to Yissocher - for the latter will be studying Torah. "This is what Moshe said, 'Zevulun, be happy as you go out, and Yissocher, in your tents.' [Dev. 33:18] Zevulun goes out and does business, while Yissocher studies Torah in the tents."

What sort of study is involved? Rashi says, "'A bony donkey' - A donkey with prominent bones. He carries the yoke of Torah like a strong donkey which is carrying a heavy load."

The yoke of Torah is just that - a heavy responsibility and obligation. Those who truly study it not merely full-time, but "day and night," are recognized by the Torah as deserving of our support.

The Chofetz Chaim, Rabbi Yisrael Kagan, explains that HaShem created the world knowing that it was impossible for the entire nation to be engaged only in Torah study, and that it would also be necessary to engage in "the ways of the world." Therefore, when dividing the land of Israel among the tribes, He suggested to us the necessary partnership between Yissocher and Zevulun.

Each one fills a unique and necessary purpose: Yissocher loved Torah study, so much so that the tribe produced 200 heads of the Sanhedrin, the nation of Israel's Supreme Court, and they taught Torah to all of Israel. Zevulun was heavily involved with business, so they could not dedicate themselves to Torah in this fashion - but they supported and sustained their brothers in the tribe of Yissocher, giving them whatever they needed.

In Jewish thought, we know that our primary purpose is the pursuit of our spirituality and the study of Torah. But one person cannot do everything alone. Yissocher and Zevulun _together_ are considered "the pillars of the world." And this even has ramifications within Jewish law: the Shulchan Aruch, the Code of Jewish law, says [Yoreh Deah 246] that "one who does not know how to learn himself, or is very involved with business and finds it difficult to learn, is obligated to support those who study Torah. And it will be considered for him as if he studied Torah himself."

Imagine! If someone is involved in business, but helps support Torah study, it is "considered for him as if he studied Torah himself!" By law!

Text Copyright © 1996 Rabbi Yaakov Menken and Project Genesis, Inc.
The author is the Director of Project Genesis.


 






ARTICLES ON DEVARIM AND THE THREE WEEKS:

View Complete List

Replaced with Genuine Joy!
Rabbi Label Lam - 5774

Why Do We Mourn?
Rabbi Yehudah Prero - 5756

Manifestations of Mourning
Rabbi Yehudah Prero - 5758

Frumster - Orthodox Jewish Dating

The Secret to Rebuke
Shlomo Katz - 5772

17th of Tammuz: Why We Fast - Part 1
Rabbi Yehudah Prero - 5758

Golden Opportunities
Rabbi Naftali Reich - 5772

> Tooth and Nail
Rabbi Naftali Reich - 5767

What Are We Missing On Tisha B'Av?
Rabbi Label Lam - 5764

The Laws of Kashrus: Is it techinical or something deeper?
Rabbi Pinchas Winston - 5773

Looking for a Chavrusah?

Self-Fulfilling Prophecy
Rabbi Yochanan Zweig - 5771

How We Suffer
Rabbi Yehudah Prero - 5758

Constantly Challenged
Rabbi Pinchas Avruch - 5762

ArtScroll

Payment in Full
Rabbi Naftali Reich - 5769

Shabbos Chazon
Rabbi Pinchas Winston - 5762

Rebuilding the Temple
Rabbi Pinchas Winston - 5768

Children are a Gift
Rabbi Yissocher Frand - 5762



Project Genesis

Torah.org Home


Torah Portion

Jewish Law

Ethics

Texts

Learn the Basics

Seasons

Features

TORAHAUDIO

Ask The Rabbi

Knowledge Base




Help

About Us

Contact Us



Free Book on Geulah!




Torah.org Home
Torah.org HomeCapalon.com Copyright Information