(All these are the twelve tribes of Israel, and this is it that their father spoke unto them) and blessed them; every one according to his blessing he blessed them.
On his deathbed Yaakov summons all of his sons for his last words. Rabbi Twerski points out that Yaakov did not pronounce a general blessing for all his sons but had a personal one for each of them. Why is this?
It is generally understood that Yakov gives his children advice and guidance, according to the way they conducted their life. Obviously he recognizes that his children are different and that he can’t have the same expectations from all of them.
This is something which seems obvious to all parents, at least theoratically. It is not for adults to decide and plan what is best for their children. Moreover they should also be aware that each child is unique and not require siblings to follow the same route.
However this is not so simple. As grown-ups we tend to feel that the experience we have acquired and the understanding we have of the world enable us to know what is best for those children. Yet we can only offer sound advice if we truly understand their personality. To quote Rabbi Twerski: “The true blessing is for a person to become everything that he can be.”