Torah Portion: VAYIGASH
December 15, 2018 | 7/Tevet/5779
When Joseph embraces his brother Benjamin, he falls on his neck and weeps profusely, and Benjamin, in turn, does the same. The Gemara explains that Joseph was crying over the Holy Temples that would be destroyed in the land allotted to Benjamin, and Benjamin was crying over the Tabernacle that would be destroyed in the portion allotted to Joseph. The question remains, however, why they chose this particular moment to weep over the Temples and the Tabernacle. The message that the Torah imparts is that, tragically, they foresaw that the very same acrimony that led to the splintering of the House of Jacob would continue to divide our people and lead to the destruction of the Temples. Joseph and Benjamin cried for each other’s pain, teaching us that the only remedy to this plague of hatred is for us to learn to empathize with one another, to feel each other’s pain, and reach out with chesed — exemplifying kindness and love.
When the interpreter began to translate, the president quickly interrupted him and said, “Although I do not speak Yiddish, I understand the words of this holy man. He spoke from the heart, and one heart understands another heart. The edict is rescinded.”
Let us connect with our Torah, with our faith, and God will surely come to our aid. Let us remember that the name Judah also means “to give thanks and praise to God.”
We know that the Bible is full of righteous individuals. What is it about Joseph that marks him out as the paragon of righteousness more so than others?
QUOTE OF THE WEEK
“The best present you can give your children is your presence”
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JOKE OF THE WEEK
Little Avi’s teacher, Morah Emma, is reading her class the story of Chicken Little. She begins reading the part where Chicken Little tries to warn the farmer. “So, Chicken Little went over to the farmer and said, ‘The sky is falling, the sky is falling.”
Morah Emma then asks her class, “What do you think the farmer then said?”
Little Avi raises his hand. “I think he said, ‘I can’t believe it! A talking chicken!”
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