So What-Vayechi-Morning Blessings-Tents of Jacob
“Simeon and Levi are brothers— their swords are stolen weapons of violence. Let me not enter their council, let me not join their assembly, for they have killed men in their anger and hamstrung the ox as they pleased. Cursed be their anger, so fierce, and their fury, so cruel!
I will scatter them in Jacob and disperse them in Israel (Genesis 49:5-7).”
In Exile, where the pressure of our fate bows everything down and the nation itself torn asunder, there the danger lies, that all feelings of one’s own importance becomes lost, and the sense of oppression kills all spiritual force and energy. For that, “I will scatter them in Jacob,” it was of the greatest benefit that the tribes of Shimon and Levi were scattered amongst the other tribes, which had the natural result, that, when the state collapsed and the nation scattered in all direction, in this dispersion, Shimon and Levi, in the form of Torah scholars, teachers and spiritual leaders, would be found everywhere, who, with their fiery and proud dispositions would keep alive the energy and the courage, the fire and the noble Jewish pride of the Jewish spirit, outliving the loss of the state. (Rabbi Samson R. Hirsch)
“How goodly are your tents, O Jacob, your dwelling places, O Israel (Numbers 24:5).” The tents and dwelling places refer to synagogues and study halls, where the spirit of Shimon and Levi allow us to maintain our pride and passion.
Recite this verse with the intention to use your time in the synagogue, praying and studying to connect with the pride we should have in our spirit and passion that have kept our tents and dwelling places alive throughout the Diaspora.