One of the Fathers of the Jewish people was Jacob, who had 12 sons who were to grow to become the leaders of the 12 tribes of Israel.
From that day forward, they would become role models for Jewish children everywhere, as they represented qualities to emulate eternally. Ephraim and Menashe were the first brothers among our forefathers to live without rivalry.
Before them came Isaac and Ishmael, Jacob and Esau, and, of course, Joseph's brothers who sold him as a slave ― all relationships fraught with conflict and competition. Concerns of ego were cast aside in favor of something greater.
Ephraim and Menashe were brothers who lived in harmony, for their life focus was the highest example of working for good for their community and people. The words of King David ring true: "How good and pleasant is it for brothers to sit peacefully together" (Psalms 133:1).
This is the hope that God holds for all the Jewish people.
In addition, of the 12 sons and their families, these two were the only ones to grow to maturity outside of the Land of Israel.
Yet despite great odds, they still remained steadfast in their commitment to Judaism.We cannot always guarantee that our children will not be exposed to a negative environment.We therefore give them the blessing to be like those who were not tempted by their immoral surroundings and maintained their ethical and righteous behavior. Each one possessed unique qualities that played essential roles in the strength and future of the nation.Thus the qualities exhibited by Ephraim and Menashe being united in their quest for the good of all, as well as possessing the strength of character to maintain Jewish values in a non-Jewish environment ― became the benchmark for raising Jewish children even millennia later. Yet there was something they all shared, something that Jewish women for all time would strive to emulate.Each one lived in recognition that the ultimate in fulfillment is enabling others to realize their potentials as individuals and as members of the Jewish people.The Torah is filled with accounts of these women, recording their insight, their giving nature, and their sensitivity, leadership, and special ability to inspire others.