Joseph brought his two sons, Menashe and Ephraim to receive blessings from his father, Jacob.
“וְעֵינֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל כָּבְדוּ מִזֹּקֶן, לֹא יוּכַל לִרְאוֹת; וַיַּגֵּשׁ אֹתָם אֵלָיו, וַיִּשַּׁק לָהֶם וַיְחַבֵּק לָהֶם”
“Now the eyes of Israel were so dim from age that he could not see. Then Joseph brought them close to him, and he kissed them and embraced them.”
The Zohar reveals that Jacob’s eye sight was weak but he smelled the Shechina on the head of Ephraim. He blessed him first even though Menache was older.
“וַיְבָרֲכֵם בַּיּוֹם הַהוּא לֵאמוֹר בְּךָ יְבָרֵךְ יִשְׂרָאֵל לֵאמֹר יְשִׂמְךָ אֱלֹהִים כְּאֶפְרַיִם וְכִמְנַשֶּׁה וַיָּשֶׂם אֶת אֶפְרַיִם לִפְנֵי מְנַשֶּׁה.”
“He blessed them that day, saying, “By you Israel will pronounce blessing, saying, ‘May God make you like Ephraim and Manasseh!'” Thus he put Ephraim before Manasseh.”
The Zohar explain that the meaning of the words ‘בְּךָ יְבָרֵךְ’, ‘By you he will bless…’ is ‘By the Shechina Israel would be blessed.
Because Ephraim had connection to the Shechina, during the Israelites journeys in the wilderness, his tribe camped on the west of the Holy Tabernacle. The shechinah escorted the israelites on their travels to the promised Land.
The west is the aspect of Yessod, the point of connection with the Shechina and that made Ephraim dear to the Holy One Blessed Be He. The verse below represents the love of God to the Israelites. We read this verse after the Torah reading on the second day of Rosh Hashanah to draw the love and mercy of God to us on the judgment day of Rosh Hashanah.
“הֲבֵן יַקִּיר לִי אֶפְרַיִם, אִם יֶלֶד שַׁעֲשֻׁעִים–כִּי-מִדֵּי דַבְּרִי בּוֹ, זָכֹר אֶזְכְּרֶנּוּ עוֹד; עַל-כֵּן, הָמוּ מֵעַי לוֹ–רַחֵם אֲרַחֲמֶנּוּ, נְאֻם-יְהוָה”
“”Is Ephraim My dear son? Is he a delightful child? Indeed, as often as I have spoken against him, I certainly still remember him; Therefore My heart yearns for him; I will surely have mercy on him,” declares YHVH.”
On Friday night we turn to the west to welcome the Shechina that blesses our Shabbats. After that we bless the sons with words from this verse that was blessings Jacob gave to Ephraim and Menashe