• Jodi Samuels

Life Lessons from the Patriarch Jacob

Updated: Dec 21, 2021


This week’s Torah portion Vayechi is the final chapter of our Patriarch, Jacob‘s life. Our sages explain that while Jacob may have physically passed away, his teachings and life lessons live on. “Tzaddikim, even after their death, are considered alive.”


We also see that all 12 of his children were present including Joseph, who was second in command to Pharaoh during a famine in Egypt. Joseph rushed to be at his father’s side with his children. He honored his parents and set an example for his children.


In Jacob’s final hours he blessed each of his children individually but in front of each other. Jacob knew his children. He instructed them to each fulfill their own unique potential, maximizing their particular talents, skills and character strengths with which each child was created. This is the greatest blessing of all. Jacob did not bless them with wealth or other external acquisitions. The latter may not be a blessing at all. The true blessing is for a person to become everything that one can be.


The Patriarch Jacob teaches us that we must get to know our children and help them develop and realize their own unique potential. Those of you who follow my journey with my 13 year old daughter Caila who has Down syndrome on @cailysworld know how real this struggle is for me. All parents want the best for their children and I have to constantly remind myself like Jacob to know each of our children and help them develop and realize their own unique potential.


Shabbat Shalom