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Naftali-Rabbeinu Bachya – Vayechi

“Naftali is a hind let loose.” (Genesis 49:21) The “hind let loose,” is an allusion to the concept of Tzaddik, the truly righteous. The word is reminiscent of a messenger, “shaliach,” – as in “shelucha” in the verse. “Ayelet” is an allusion to Kenesset Israel also known as Ayelet Hashachar.

Naftali brings the prayers of the Jewish people to the throne of God with his exceptional speed.

We have support for this from Shemot Rabbah 21:4, where we are told that a certain angel awaits the prayers of the Jewish people and weaves them all into a crown to be placed on the head of God.  This is based on Proverbs 10:6, “Blessings rest on the head of the righteous.” The “righteous” par excellence is God, of course.

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