by Rabbi Hirsh M. Chinn
It seems that only yesterday, the world came into existence on Shabbos Breishis. Our Avos and Ima’os “brought” Hashem into this world during the past nine parshiyos, and now we say farewell to Yaakov Avinu. We bring this first stage of our national development to a close. Vayichi-Chazak.
As Jacob nears his death, his son Joseph brings his children, Menashe and Ephraim to him for a blessing. וַיְבָרְכֵם בַּיּוֹם הַהוּא, לֵאמוֹר, בְּךָ יְבָרֵךְ יִשְׂרָאֵל לֵאמֹר, יְשִׂמְךָ אֱלֹהִיםכְּאֶפְרַיִם וְכִמְנַשֶּׁה And he blessed them that day, saying: ‘By you shall Israel bless, saying: G-d make you as Ephraim and as Manasseh.’ The second half of the sentence is well known and often discussed. But what about those two words, בַּיּוֹם הַהוּא” – that day” ? Also, what does “לֵאמוֹר -saying” mean? Say what?
Rabbi Shlomo Leib of Lantshia ( student of the P’shischar), wrote that Yaakov blessed them with “bitachon”- trust in the Divine, to have security in Hashem’s care for each “today” without fear for tomorrow. “לֵאמוֹר -saying” that they should be accustomed to say ברוך ה’ יום יום, “Blessed is Hashem for each day”. So often we are so concerned about the future that we are unable to live in and appreciate the present, with the gifts that we have been blessed. What a wonderful bracha it is to be able to enjoy what I have, each “today” and to be appreciative for each “one day at a time”.