Vayechi – Balance of Work and Study

In this week’s Parsha of Vayechi, two Jewish tribes are blessed with a synergistic relationship. The tribe of Zevulun would become seafaring traders bringing income and wealth to Israel, and Yissachar would become the scholars who studied in the Yeshiva academies bringing insight and wisdom to the Jewish people. But where is the synergy? It lay in the fact that seafaring in the days of old was a strenuous and time-consuming activity, and the opportunity to sit and study was limited. While the activity of academic pursuit was not an income producer. So a deal was struck. Zevulun would support Yissachar, and Yissachar would teach Zevulun’s children. That relationship continues to the present day. The Jewish community is blessed with individuals who are blessed with wealth and have entrepreneurial skills. And our community is also blessed with those who study and spread Torah knowledge and wisdom. Each supports the other in the same way that Zevulun and Yissachar supported each other. •But that does not absolve Zevulun from some daily study and Yissachar from some worldly pursuit. Likewise today, it does not absolve the entrepreneur from studying Torah regularly and the Yeshiva student from physical service in the community as needed. Whatever be your blessing from Above, identify your core role but don’t forget the other subsidiary roles you are obligated to play. And study of your Jewish heritage is common to all roles.SHOW LESS