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 PINCHAS AND THE THREE WEEKS:

View Complete List

Kinah for Tisha BAv Revised
Rabbi Label Lam - 5774

Body Language
Rabbi Yochanan Zweig - 5770

The Right Thing
Rabbi Label Lam - 5768

Frumster - Orthodox Jewish Dating

Glass House Real Estate
Rabbi Yisroel Ciner - 5758

Daughters-and-Law
Rabbi Mordechai Kamenetzky - 5756

Temperament of a Kohen
Shlomo Katz - 5758

Looking for a Chavrusah?

The Pitfall of Consistency: Been There; Done That
Rabbi Yissocher Frand - 5770

Human Sacrifice
Rabbi Berel Wein - 5764

A Dove Amongst Eagles
Rabbi Yochanan Zweig - 5770

> Tamid: From Start to Finish
Rabbi Osher Chaim Levene - 5767

Lead Us and We Will Follow
Rabbi Eliyahu Hoffmann - 5758

A Flock Without a Shepherd
Rabbi Yaakov Menken - 5759

ArtScroll

No Compromising with the Yetzer Hara!
Shlomo Katz - 5761

Paradigm of Peace
Rabbi Label Lam - 5764

The Special Potential of Each Jew
Rabbi Yosef Kalatzky - 5762

The Most Precious Commodity
Rabbi Berel Wein - 5772



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