In this week's parsha, Vayechi, Yaakov blesses his sons; he gives each of them a unique blessing based on their personality. I will be focusing on the part of the blessing which he gave to Yehuda, the son who got the blessing of Malchut, or kingship. The last four words of his bracha are “vaidgu larov ve kerev haaretz” which means that Yehuda should be like a fish on land.
What does this blessing actually mean? How can someone be like a fish on land? Rashi explains that a fish is not supposed to be on land, they're supposed to be in the water. When a fish is in water, their natural habitat, they are just swimming naturally and not doing anything out of the ordinary. However, when they are on land, they have to adapt to a new and different environment. Because they don’t naturally fit in there, they have to strive to be better in order to succeed. If you look a little deeper, it’s like the same thing with the Jews. When life is easy for Jews, they will never work to be better. On the other hand, if they’re in a place or situation where they need to fix themselves, they will do so because they’re not in their average environment. We should always seek out ways in which we can improve ourselves in all situations.
By: Robert Zohar (12th Grade)