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After 17 years in Egypt, Yaakov senses his
days drawing to a
close and summons Yosef. He makes Yosef swear to bury him
in the Cave of Machpela, the burial place of Adam and Chava,
Avraham and Sarah, Yitzchak and Rivka.
Yaakov becomes ill and Yosef brings to him his two sons,
Efraim and Menashe. Yaakov elevates Efraim and Menashe
to the status of his own sons, thus giving Yosef a double portion
which removes the status of the first-born from Reuven.
As Yaakov is blind from old age, Yosef leads his sons close to
their grandfather. Yaakov kisses and hugs them. He had
not thought to see his son Yosef again, let alone Yosef's children.
Yaakov begins to bless them, giving precedence to Efraim,
the younger, but Yosef interrupts him and indicates that Menashe
is the elder. Yaakov explains that he intends to bless Efraim
with his strong hand because Yehoshua will descend from him,
and Yehoshua will be both the conqueror of Eretz Yisrael
and the teacher of Torah to the Jewish People.
Yaakov summons the rest of his sons in order to bless them as well.
Yaakov's blessing reflects the unique character and ability of each tribe,
directing each one in its unique mission in serving G-d.
Yaakov passes from this world at the age of 147. A tremendous
funeral procession accompanies his funeral cortege up from Egypt
to his resting place in the Cave of Machpela in Chevron.
After Yaakov's passing, the brothers are concerned that Yosef
will now take revenge on them. Yosef reassures them,
even promising to support them and their families.
Yosef lives out the rest of his years in Egypt, seeing Efraim's great-grandchildren. Before his death, Yosef foretells to his brothers
that G-d will redeem them from Egypt. He makes them swear
to bring his bones out of Egypt with them at that time.
Yosef passes away at the age of 110 and is embalmed.
Thus ends Sefer Bereishis, the first of the five Books of the Torah.