Love of the Land

For the week ending 20 December 2008 / 23 Kislev 5769

Shechem - Fulfillment of a Wish

by Rabbi Mendel Weinbach zt'l
The Color of HeavenArtscroll

"My brothers, you stole me alive from Shechem. I beg you to return my bones to there."

Tradition has it that this is what Yosef asked of his brothers before his death.

Just as Yosef, in his position as chief advisor to the Egyptian ruler, arranged for the remains of his father, the Patriarch Yaakov, to be taken from Egypt for burial in Eretz Yisrael, so too did he make preparations for the same honor to be accorded to him. In making his request to his brothers he reminded them that their descendants would eventually be redeemed by G-d from Egyptian exile, and asked that when they leave they should take along his bones for burial in Eretz Yisrael.

During their forty years in the wilderness the Children of Israel carried Yosef's casket, and when they finally entered Yisrael they fulfilled his wish by burying him in Shechem.

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