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by Dr. Avigdor Bonchek


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Parashas Vayegash


A close reading of the sentence shows how Rashi's interpretation has a firm anchor in text.


Genesis 46:4

"I will go down with you to Egypt and I shall also surely bring you up again. And Joseph will put his hand on your eyes." And I shall also surely bring you up: Rashi: He promised him that he would be buried in Eretz [Israel]."

What would you ask Rashi here?

Your Question:

Questioning Rashi

One question we can ask is: How does Rashi know this? How does he know that G-d is promising Jacob that he will be buried in Israel? I would expect a more optimistic promise - that Jacob will be returned to Eretz Israel while still alive. How does Rashi know that this was not the promise? What in the text is bothering Rashi?

Your Answer:


What Is Bothering Rashi?

An Answer:

G-d says to Jacob "I will go down with you...And I will bring you up." These are not parallel phrases. It should have said ". and I will go up with you." This change in language is what is bothering Rashi.

How does he deal with this?

Your Answer:

  Understanding Rashi

An Answer:

"Going up" and "going down" are terms for coming to or leaving Eretz Yisroel. (See Rashi in this sedra, 45:9) So when G-d says that He will "bring up", He means He will return Jacob to Eretz Yisroel. But by not saying "I will come up with you" G-d can only mean that He will bring Jacob up, as a dead person is brought up but not come up on his own power.

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