Sibling rivalry presents as a major source of conflict throughout the book of Bereshit. At the conclusion of the section of sons’ blessings, the Torah states “Every one according to his blessing, he [Yaakov] blessed them.” (Genesis 49:28) The Midrash in Genesis Rabbah 97:1 explains that the Torah states “he blessed them” rather than “he blessed him,” as would be grammatically appropriate, to teach us that Yaakov gave an equally unique blessing to each son. The Torah ultimately emphasizes that in his last days, Yaakov was careful to not use favoritism when distributing the blessings.
In this final Parasha of the book of Bereshit, we see how Yaakov has grown to rise above repeating his own patterns of favoritism, which contributed to sibling rivalry in his generation and the generations before him. The Midrash’s interpretation of this Pasuk demonstrates how Yaakov laid the groundwork for a less competitive and more collaborative family dynamic, as the Jewish people began their next chapter in the land of Egypt. Chazak Chazak V’Nitchazek!