Rabbi David Lau
Rabbi of MODIIN
Abraham our father, "the father of the nation", had two sons, Yitzhak and Ishmael.
Yitzhak is chosen to be his successor and he consequently had two sons Esau and Jacob.
Jacob is selected to be the successor. Jacob, the father of the nation had twelve sons.
Twelve sons, from four women- Leah's sons are the most important , Reuben, Shimon, Levi and Judah will later became heads of the tribes. Judah will be the successor.
Jacob, has two sons, from Rachel- Joseph and Benjamin.
Joseph, the son of Jacob, Rachel's favorite son, receives a special blessing when his two sons, Menashe and Efraim are born in the land of Egypt and not in the forefathers land.
Joseph is privileged in that these two sons are destined to head two tribes. Each and every one fulfils a role in the life of the nation.
The tribe of Levi will attend the temple, the tribe of Judea will be the tribe of the kingdom.
The tribe of Ephraim will be in the kingdomof Israel.