Vayechi by Rabbi Moshe Goodman, Kollel Ohr Shlomo, Hebron בס"ד
Discover the Holy Presence in the Holy Land
And Yakov Lived
There are two parshiot in the Torah that are named afterlife/living: Hayei Sarah and Vayehi. Interestingly, both describe the death of a Patriarch/Matriarch, and both deal with the buying of and burial in Maarat Hamchpela. We may explain this matter by our Sages teaching that our Godly Patriarchs/Matriarchs did not “die,” but rather they are constantly “living” in a spiritual sense. Therefore, this miraculous/spiritual “living-on” even after what would seem death is hinted to by the name of the parsha meaning “to live.” We may also say that Maarat Hamachepla, where they were buried, and Hebron in general, carry this same theme of “living-on.” First, Hebron is the home-city of the Jewish People, always being re-settled by Jews throughout the ages, even in very dire times when Jewish settlement throughout the Land of Israel ceased. Second, Maarat Hamachpela is also mentioned in the Zohar as being a Channel towards Heaven and the Afterlife, through which all souls pass towards Heaven, where they will “live-on.”
The reason we say that Vayehi talks about buying Maarat Hamachpela is that, according to our Sages, Yosef and his brothers paid a second time to buy Maarat Hamachpela, due to the antagonism of the surrounding peoples to Yakov’s burial there. Even Esav opposition is described by our Sages, ending with his death through the hands of Hushim, son of Dan, who slew him in response to Esav’s opposition. These two incidents occurring in context of the acquisition of Maarat HaMachpela in Hebron, Home-City of the Jewish People in the Holy Land, may hint to the two primary methods the entire Land of Israel has been acquired: buying through monetary acquisition and through force. These methods of acquisition of the Land of Israel have also “lived on” throughout the ages.
It seems also that that the name Husha/im “lives-on.” We first encounter a variation of this name as the king of Edom – Husham. Interestingly, it is Hushim, son of Dan who slays “Esav who is Edom” in Hebron, the cradle of the royalty of King David, the prototype of Mashiach, which carries the exact same letters as Hushim!
Jews from the four points of the compass heard the call to come home (Isa. 43:5,6). Israel’s Declaration of Independence stated that Israel “will be open to the immigration of Jews from all countries of their dispersion.” Even as war still raged and the little State faced possible destruction or bankruptcy, the newcomers poured in. During the first three years of statehood, the average reached 18,000 a month and in some months the figure exceeded 30,000. Between May 15, 1948, and June 30, 1953, the Jewish population of the country doubled. By the end of 1956, Israel’s population had nearly tripled, reaching 1,667,000! Source: Israel Nation of Miracles