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Parshat Vayigash

PARSHA ON PARADE IS DEDICATED TO THE MEMORY
OF MY DEAR FATHER AND REBBI:
HARAV HAGAON RAV YESHAYA SHIMANOWITZ Z'TZL ,
ROSH YESHIVA
IN
YESHIVAS RABAINU YAAKOV YOSEF
(RABBI JACOB JOSEPH YESHIVA - RJJ)
IN NYC FOR OVER 23 YEARS.
NIFTAR ON 20 ADAR 5758 - MARCH 18, 1998.
MAY HE BE A MAYLITZ YOSHER FOR ALL OF KLAL YISROEL.

AND

MY DEAR MOTHER
REBITZEN BRACHA ETEL SHIMANOWITZ A'H
WHO DEVOTED HER ENTIRE LIFE TO MY FATHER AND HIS TORAH,
NIFTERA ON 21 TEVET 5770 - WED EVE. JANUARY 6, 2010.
MAY SHE BE A MAYLITZA YOSHER FOR ALL OF KLAL YISROEL


Menachim Z. Shimanowitz

You too can dedicate a Parsha or any other section of Torah Tots in honor or in memory of someone close to you.
For further info, click here.

PARSHA
FACTS

NO MITZVOT IN THIS PARSHA

NUMBER OF PESUKIM (SENTENCES): 106

NUMBER OF WORDS: 1480

NUMBER OF LETTERS: 5680

HAFTORA: (Additional portion, from Prophets, which is read after the Parsha)
Yechezkel / Ezekiel 37:15 - 28

Tuesday, Dec. 18, 2018, is עשרה בטבת Asara B'Tevet (Fast of Tenth Of Tevet)
.


פרשת ויגש
THE
PARSHA
In our last episode Yosef's dream interpreting paid off. In a matter of hours, Yosef went from 'jail boy' to Viceroy. It was now only a matter of time before his brothers would show up in pain for grain. When they did, Yosef played them like a yo-yo, eventually forcing them to bring their brother Binyamin to Egypt. Just when the brothers thought they'd be back in Canaan on the next caravan, Menashe, Yosef's son, pulled a planted goblet out of Binyamin's sack. From there on in, one thing was clear: Binyomin would not be leaving Egypt anytime soon.

As our Parsha opens, Yosef has decided that everyone is free to leave except for Binyamin. He will stay on as a slave for stealing the magic goblet. This ruling does not sit well with Yehuda. After all, he has taken personal responsibility for Binyomin's safety. Bad enough that he was responsible for selling Yosef. He's not going back to his father with a '2 for 2'.


YEHUDA
TAKES
CHARGE
Stepping forward towards Yosef's throne, Yehuda first prays to Hashem for help. Then, in a heart wrenching speech, Yehuda pleads for Binyomin's freedom. He begs Yosef to let him take Binyamin's place. "I'm stronger, faster and make a mean omelet..." Anything to free Binyamin! Yehuda explains to the disguised Yosef that his father had a beloved wife, Rachel, who died in childbirth leaving only two children behind to remind him of her. Yosef is gone and now only Binyamin is left. Yehuda can't handle thinking of the grief his father will bear if Binyamin does not return.
YOSEF
REVEALS
HIMSELF
TO HIS
BROTHERS
This is all Yosef can take! He's held back the tears all this time to see if his brothers have learned their lesson. And now the report cards are graded with an A+ for teshuva. The brothers have proven that they are truly sorry for selling Yosef. Yosef orders all the Egyptians to clear the room. When only his brothers are left, Yosef bursts out in tears: "I am Yosef!...Is my father still alive?"

Imagine the surprise that his brothers are faced with! They are stunned and ashamed. One minute they're about to disappoint their father with the loss of Binyamin. The next minute they've found their missing brother! It's a scene of both joy and fear. What would Yosef do to them now that he has revealed himself? Will he punish them all for selling him 23 years before? Yosef comforts them by reminding them that it was Hashem who guided him here to feed his family during the famine.

When Pharoh hears of the amazing reunion, he orders Yosef to load up his brothers with wagons and grain. They are sent back to Canaan to fetch the rest of the family. Yosef gives each of his brothers a new set of fancy garments. Binyamin hits the jackpot with 5 garments and 300 pieces of silver.

But there's another issue at hand. How do you break the news to an elderly man like Yaakov? Yosef and his brothers are worried that their father won't be able to take the shocking news that his long lost son has been found. After all, Yaakov is 130 years old. A shock like this could kill him! So they come up with a plan that will help break the news gently. When the brothers arrive home in Canaan they choose Yaakov's granddaughter Serach, Asher's daughter, to break the news. Serach is a musician with a beautiful voice. She often serenades her grandfather. This time she sings the words, "My uncle Yosef is alive, and he rules over Egypt." Yaakov tells her that the words she has sung are a beautiful fantasy and he blesses her with long life. (By the way, Yaakov's bracha comes true, Serach is still alive in King David's time. She is one of the few who enter Gan Eden alive).

When the brothers come and confirm the news, Yaakov's heart skips a beat! At first he doesn't believe them. Then the brothers tell Yaakov the entire story of Yosef's success in Egypt. It is only when Yaakov sees the wagons sent by Yosef that he believes Yosef is truly alive!

Agalot Now you're probably wondering how a bunch of wagons prove anything. Well, the last thing that Yaakov and Yosef studied together before he was sold is the law of "Egla Arufa." If a stranger is found murdered between two cities, a calf is sacrificed by the town leaders. The Hebrew word for wagons is "Agalot" which is the plural for the word "calf" ("eglah)." Seeing this, Yaakov now declares, "There is still much joy in my life. Yosef is alive - I must go and see him before I die."


FIRST,
A STOP
IN
BE'ER
SHEVA

Yaakov is all gung-ho to see Yosef after so many years. But the land of Canaan is very holy. Yaakov feels the need to ask Hashem's permission to leave it for Egypt. He is worried that his children will be assimilated. So he heads over to Be'er Sheva and offers korbanot (sacrifices) to Hashem on the mizbayach (altar) his father Yitzchok built. Hashem gives an "A-okay" to Yaakov's request. Hashem tells Yaakov not to be afraid to go down to Egypt. They will be divinely protected. Hashem also promises Yaakov that Egypt is just a temporary stop in the fulfillment of the promise made to him and his fathers, Avrohom and Yitzchok. It is in Egypt that Hashem will make them into a great nation.

So Yaakov, his eleven sons and their families pack up all their possessions and animals, and head out to Egypt. Sixty-Nine people in Yaakov's household start the trek. Levi's daughter Yocheved, is born along the way, making it an even 70 upon arrival. Yehuda runs up ahead to make preparations. He builds homes and a Yeshiva in the far off Egyptian land of Goshen.


TOGETHER
ONCE
AGAIN
Reunited As Yaakov and his household approach the Egyptian border, Yosef hops on his chariot to meet his father. Yaakov and Yosef hug and kiss and cry on each other's shoulders. Yaakov looks deep into this virtual stranger's eyes. He can tell that Yosef is still a great tzadik worthy of being a son of Yaakov. Here, in a land where Hashem is not even recognized, Yosef has truly shown that he can overcome temptation.
COME
MEET
THE BIG
MAN
Yosef realizes that it won't be a good idea for his family to live in the capital city. The Egyptian lifestyle is no way for Bnei Yisroel (children of Israel) to live. But Pharoh may just want to keep the family in the capitol city. So Yosef instructs his brothers to tell Pharoh that they are shepherds. Why? Yosef knows that the Egyptians worship sheep. Herding them is distasteful to Egyptians. Under these circumstances it would be better to keep Yosef's family out of the way in the far-off land of Goshen. Yaakov Meets Pharoh

Yosef introduces his father, Yaakov, to Pharoh. Pharoh can see that Yaakov has suffered much in his life. Remember that Avraham at 99 was quite robust. Yaakov at 130 is tattered and grey. Yaakov has spent practically his whole life worried about one problem or another. He had never been able to sit back and relax. First he ran from Esav, then Lavan manipulated his life. On the way back to Canaan he worried about Esav attacking him. Just when Yaakov thought he could get a break in Shechem, Dina was kidnaped. Then Shimon and Levi set off a bunch of wars when they did away with the entire city of Shechem. Rachel, Leah, Rivka and her maid all died very suddenly. Then Yosef disappeared. For 22 years Yaakov has mourned for his lost son, Yosef. And now, this old, grey man hopes to spend the rest of his days enjoying his reunited family.

Yaakov blesses Pharoh. Only two years into the famine, Hashem listens to Yaakov's prayer and lifts the floodgates. Instantly, the Nile overflows and grain begins to grow. But the famine has brought about terrible devastation for the people of Egypt. They've run out of money, and have paid for their food first with their cattle and then with their land. The average Egyptian is now a mere tenant on what is now Pharoh's land.

Meanwhile, the Bnei Yisroel live in the land of Goshen where they increase in population many... many... many-fold.

Tune in next week as the last of the Avot, Yaakov, blesses his children - the Bnei Yisroel. We'll wrap up the Book of Bereishit in our next exciting episode of:

Parsha on Parade

Midrash Maven
See the Midrash Maven on Vayigash


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