Friday, December 17, 2010

Vayechi - The Good Years of Jacob

"And Jacob lived in Egypt for 17 years..."

Jacob was a reincarnation of Adam. Adam was created on a Friday, sinned the same day, and was exiled from Gan Eden together with Eve. He then separated from his wife for 130 years, and these are his bad years, until the wives of Lemech told him to reunite with Eve - when he was trying to convince them to reunite with their husband Lemech.

These are the first 130 years of Jacob's life. When Jacob came to Egypt and met Pharaoh, he said that he was 130, and that his years were short and bad. That is what Jacob meant, that they corresponded to the 130 bad years of Adam.

Having fixed, through his life, the bad years of Adam, Jacob now had his own life, as the Torah says, "And he lived." These years were his good years. The Gematria of "tov" - good - is 17.

There is another hint to this relationship in the words of Lavan, when he said, "Good if I give her to you (Jacob), rather than to another man (Esau)." The two sisters whom Jacob married are the two large drops that fell away from Adam, and now Jacob has brought them back through his marriage.

Art: Dante Gabriel Rossetti - Dante's Vision of Rachel and Leah

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