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Ohr Pnei Moshe-Vayechi-Becoming Yaakov’s Student

The 12th of Tevet is the Yahrtzeit of Rav Moshe of Pshevorsk, author of Ohr Pnei Moshe (1805). “The time approached for Israel to die, so he called for his son, for Joseph.” (Genesis 47:29) The Midrash teaches that all of Jacob’s days gathered to attest to all his good deeds.

We can better understand the scene when we recall the Rabbinic dictum, “Repent one day before your death.” A person must consider how he would live each day as if it was his last. Jacob lived each day as if it was his last. He accomplished as much as possible each day.

He summoned Joseph, as in, “He called to Moshe,” just as God summoned Moshe in order to teach him, so Jacob called to Joseph. He wanted to give over all his Torah to the now older and more mature Joseph, who would comprehend it as he could not when he was just a boy.

“Do with me a kindness,” the ultimate kindness of a son being a source of pride for his father. “Place your hand on my thigh,” and absorb al my Torah that is symbolized by the thigh that walks and moves us forward. Live your Torah and translate all you learn into action. Be “True” to your Torah and take what you learned and express it in the action of burying me in Israel. Do not do it for me, for then you will have your resentments and issues of time. Do it as true Torah and go to Israel where the very air enhances your learning. Do this as an act of “Emet,” truth, to what you have studied.

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