Now, your two sons, who were born to you in the land of Egypt before I came to you in Egypt, shall be mine; Ephraim and Manasseh shall be mine no less than Reuben and Simeon.
Along with the blessings that Yaakov gave his sons, he also revealed to them other secrets.
That Ephraim and Menashe would be counted as his own sons and would each receive a portion in the land of Israel.
That the thoughts of a couple during marital relations can influence the soul of the child being conceived. Indeed, at at the moment of intercourse the child’s soul descends and hovers near the couple’s heads.
That he had been destined to have an additional two sons (i.e. Ephraim and Menashe) with Bilhah. However, because of the sin of Reuven moving his father's bed, those two souls remained on high until Yossef married Assenath and fathered them. For this reason Yakov considered them like his own sons.
(Meam Loez, Rashi, Amudehah Shivah quoting the Ari)
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Dedicated Today L'iluy nishmat Genendel Bat Yehudah HaLevi
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