ב '' ח
Journey Through Genesis
Choose Words Carefully ©
Dr. Akiva Gamliel Belk
B'nai Noach Torah Institute, LLC
As we G-d Willing continue our Journey Through Genesis we offer this discussion of Ha Torah in the loving memory of Don ben Sarah, Martha bat Sarah Steven Ben Martha, Channah bat Sarah, Michael ben Sarah, Yochanan ben Chavah Ethel bat Channah, Gabor ben Idah, Will ben Chavah, Ida bat Chavah, Don ben Ether Channah, Gabor ben Ethel Channah and Carry bat Brachah Rivkah may their memory be for good and may they be elevated in the HaShaMiym and those that contributed in their behalf be bless beyond measure.
וַיֹּאמֶר יַעֲקֹב אֶל־פַּרְעֹה יְמֵי שְׁנֵי מְגוּרַי שְׁלשִׁים וּמְאַת שָׁנָה מְעַט וְרָעִים הָיוּ יְמֵי שְׁנֵי חַיַּי וְלֹא הִשִּׂיגוּ אֶת־יְמֵי שְׁנֵי חַיֵּי אֲבֹתַי בִּימֵי מְגוּרֵיהֶם:
וַיְבָרֶךְ יַעֲקֹב אֶת־פַּרְעֹה וַיֵּצֵא מִלִּפְנֵי פַרְעֹה:
And He Yaakov / Jacob said to Pharaoh, the days - years of being a stranger are thirty years and a hundred years few and evil have the days of the years of my life been, and [I] have not attained everything from Aleph to Tav, the days - years of the life of my fathers in the days of their being a stranger.
And Jacob Blessed everything from Aleph to Tav of Pharaoh, and went out from before Pharaoh.
This was a summit meeting between the two most powerful men in the world. Both were wise and well educated. Both were wealthy. Both had many servants. Both were warriors. Both were leaders of many people. One had grain. The other needed grain.
We have a difficult task before us. This task is to try and understand the use of Words Yaakov / Jacob choose when speaking before Pharaoh. We must be careful not to judge Yaakov. Yet we must inquire why Yaakov said, '...years few and evil have the days of the years of my life been...'
There is another place where similar Words were used in Ha Torah to describe how Yaakov felt about Rachael. See Bereisheit 29.20
וַיַּעֲבֹד יַעֲקֹב בְּרָחֵל שֶׁבַע שָׁנִים וַיִּהְיוּ בְעֵינָיו כְּיָמִים אֲחָדִים בְּאַהֲבָתוֹ אֹתָהּ:
And he, Yaakov served seven years for Rachel and in his eyes it seemed like a few days...
So when Yaakov was serving the evil Lavan for his daughter Rochel it seemed like a few days...
Could it be that Yaakov was saying his days of evil were few? When Yaakov says few is this referring to the days or to the days of evil? Ask yourself this question, Would you want a blessing from an individual whose days were evil? I don't think so.
What I see Yaakov saying is that his days of evil have been few. The evil days have been just days not years.... Thank G-d! Many of the translations I read seem to translate Yaakov as saying.
'The days of the years of my pilgrimage are an hundred and thirty years: few and evil have the days of the years of my life been, and have not attained unto the days of the years of the life of my fathers in the days of their pilgrimage, Bereisheit 47.9.
Now we could debate Yaakov's intent from now until... Regardless of who is correct in the translation of what Yaakov said we MUST choose words carefully.
I write poetry some. Choosing words carefully is so very necessary when writing poetry. Yet it is so important for every day and hour and minute. It is so very important for husbands to carefully choose words when speaking with one's wife or children. Words can build or break. So each of us need to be careful with our words.
In addition words can draw attention to situations we would rather not draw attention to. We do not want the evil eye to focus on words we choose.
We can also say things that could result in causing others problems. I see this happening a lot...
May we be very careful with our fords.
Blessings, Love and Peace,
Dr. Akiva Gamliel and Rebbetzin Revi Belk