Hebrew | Francais


> > Archive

Shabbat Parashat Vayechi 5783

Parashat Hashavua: Pakod Yifkod On Leadership and a Jewish State

Harav Yosef Carmel

Before his death, Yosef informed his brothers, using the double language of “pakod yifkod,” that Hashem would bring the redemption and the family/nation would leave Egypt (Bereishit 50:24-25). These words of Yosef became the secret of redemption, as Chazal teach us (Shemot Rabba 3:8). Hashem told Moshe that in order to prove that he was the legitimate liberator, Moshe had to announce that Hashem sent him to liberate the nation with the words pakod yifkod.

Another midrash (Sechel Tov, Vayechi 50:24) goes into more detail on this “secret code” to convince the nation that they should trust the bearer of the news of pakod yifkod. It adds on the significance of the next word in the pasuk: “pakod yifkod etchem” (He will certainly redeem you (plural)). The midrash explains that Hashem knew and told them that He would shorten the prescribed time of exile because of the crying out of the masses.

What is the significance of pakod yifkod? Is it simply some type of secret password? What would happen if the secret of the code would leak out and an unauthorized person would use it? What does the midrash mean by saying the liberation was dependent on the masses, and how did they see it in the p’sukim? Is it simply from the use of etchem in the plural? Wasn’t that grammatically necessary because Yosef was speaking to his several brothers?

To deal with these difficult questions, we will raise the following suggestion. Yosef used specifically the double language of pakod yifkod to teach us that the goal of the Exodus, the first liberation, and as a continuation of it, the final liberation, will be a liberation of the masses, of the nation as a nation, including all of its parts. It is not enough to leave Egypt for the purpose of ceasing to be slaves. The challenge is much, much more all-inclusive and lofty. The nation leaving Egypt must turn into an independent entity, which lives in and as an independent state with all of its trappings. A state with a government and an army, an office of agriculture and an office of commerce and industry, a foreign affairs department and an office of finance. The idea is that it is not just individuals who must serve Hashem as individuals, as it was in the time of the patriarchs. Rather, there must be an independent state in whose public life, all parts of the public are partners in the implementation of the Torah of the patriarchs.

Pakod yifkod is a prompt to establish a society of justice and kindness, where all are assured a fair deal. There must be a society that is concerned about its weaker elements, and to which other countries can look to learn how every element of society is properly handled. Society must include not only the righteous, but also those on an average level, and even the wicked. Society cannot give up on anyone, even if it strives for a situation in which as many as possible will be righteous.

Pakod tells us we need mefakdim (officers) and mefakdim of mefakdim. Yosef taught his brothers that liberation is not to solve the problems of individuals. Liberation of only the ideal members of society is not liberation. The liberator must inform the nation that he is there for all of them. That is Yosef’s secret!

Top of page
Print this page
Send to friend


We daven for a complete and speedy refuah for:

Nir Rephael ben Rachel Bracha
Arye Yitzchak ben Geula Miriam

Neta bat Malka

Meira bat Esther
Yerachmiel ben Zlotta Rivka

Ori Leah bat Chaya Temima

Together with all cholei Yisrael


Hemdat Yamim is dedicated

to the memory of:

Those who fell in wars

for our homeland


Prof. Yisrael Aharoni z"l

Kislev 14, 5783


Rav Shlomo Merzel z”l
Iyar 10, 5771

Reuven & Chaya Leah Aberman z"l
Tishrei 9
,5776 / Tishrei 20, 5782


Mr. Shmuel & Esther Shemesh z"l

Sivan 17 / Av 20


Mr. Moshe Wasserzug z"l

Tishrei 20 ,5781


R' Eliyahu Carmel z"l

Rav Carmel's father

Iyar 8 ,5776


Mrs. Sara Wengrowsky

bat RMoshe Zev a”h.

Tamuz 10 ,5774


Rav Asher & Susan Wasserteil z"l
Kislev 9 / Elul 5780

R' Meir ben

Yechezkel Shraga Brachfeld z"l


Mrs. Sara Brachfeld z"l

Tevet 16 ,5780


R 'Yaakov ben Abraham & Aisha


Chana bat Yaish & Simcha

Sebbag, z"l


Rav Yisrael Rozen z"l
Cheshvan 13, 5778


Rav Benzion Grossman z"l
Tamuz 23, 5777


R' Abraham Klein z"l

Iyar 18 ,5779


Mrs. Gita Klein z"l

Av 4


Rav Moshe Zvi (Milton) Polin z"l
Tammuz 19, 5778


R' Yitzchak Zev Tarshansky z"l

Adar 28, 5781


Nina Moinester z"l

Nechama Osna bat Yitzhak Aharon & Doba

Av 30, 5781


Rabbi Dr. Jerry Hochbaum z"l

Adar II 17, 5782


Mrs. Julia Koschitzky z"l

Adar II 18, 5782


Mrs. Leah Meyer z"l

Nisan 27, 5782


Mrs. Shirley Rothner,

Sara Rivka bat Yaakov Tzvi HaCohen z”l

Tevet 15 5768


Mrs. Rina Bat Yaakov Pushett a"h.

 Her smile and warmth are sorely missed


Hemdat Yamim
is endowed by
Les z"l  & Ethel Sutker
of Chicago, Illinois
in loving memory of
Max and Mary Sutker
& Louis and Lillian Klein z”l

site by entry.
Eretz Hemdah - Institute for Advanced Jewish Studies, Jerusalem All Rights Reserved | Privacy Policy. | Terms of Use.