Jacob blesses his sons on his deathbed. The content of his blessings, his visualizations and the order of things to come became symbols that reflected the diversity and scope of the tribes of Israel. For each of the twelve tribes of Israel, a jewel (Even Choshen) was fastened to the breastplate (Ephod) of the high priest; in four rows, three stones each, on each of which the name of the tribe was engraved. Every stone and tribe has its meaning, but they are united in a spiritual harmony on the breast of the high priest. Each tribe also has a special symbolic link to a month of the year. Jacob’s youngest son was Benjamin. His mother, Rachel, died giving birth to him. Benjamin was the only son born in the Land of Israel. As the youngest, Benjamin often appears to play the mediator between quarreling brothers. He is never seen to be involved in their disagreements. In fact, he plays a critical role in reconciling Joseph to the rest of his brothers, thus leading to unity between the future twelve...
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