Vayigash-Thoughts on the Perasha:

Jewish leadership appears twofold in this week’s Perasha. Yoseph in his capacity as Viceroy of Egypt shows great decision making ability in his plan to save Egypt from its years of famine. Yoseph has the ability to perceive the future, and probably as a result he has insight as an interpreter of dreams and predictor of events to come.   There is however one thing that Yoseph is unsure of, and that is, his brother’s remorse and change of heart in regards to their father and their brother Binyamin.  In this week’s Perasha Yoseph puts his brothers to the test by confining their youngest brother Benyamin, the son of Rahel – the beloved wife of their father Yaakob,  and accusing him of a punishable crime.  The brothers have obviously changed their attitudes defend Benyamin to the ultimate test of slavery, and Yoseph ultimately reveals his identity and the family is reunited. 

The second Jewish leader in this week’s Perasha is Yehuda.  Yehuda takes on the role of spokesperson, and boldly approaches the Viceroy of Egypt, not realizing that in actuality it is his brother Yoseph. It is Yehuda’s eloquent speech that proves to Yoseph that the brothers are remorseful for their previous actions, and have come to respect, and to protect not only their younger, favored brother, but their elderly father as well.   Truly if the brothers were still jealous and resentful of their father’s love of Rachel’s children, this would have been the perfect way to rid them of Binyamin.  Instead you have Yehuda coming forward to plead for his brother, and to describe in loving terms his father Yaakob’s love for the boy.  As the brothers come together with their father down to Egypt, there is a sense of true forgiveness and the promise of a strong united family. This then begins the saga of Bene Yisrael (the Israelites) in Egypt.

This week we saw how the majority of the nations of the world, our “brothers in humanity“, twice voted to condemn the United States and by extension Israel for the decision of President Donald Trump to recognize Jerusalem as the Capital of Ancient Israel and the present State of Israel. They voted at the Security Council 14-1 and in the General Assembly, 128 voted to condemn, 9 against and 35 abstentions. Unlike the brothers of Yoseph, who learned their lesson and moral, our “brothers in humanity“, the nations of the world, have not leaned their lesson. Their 2000 year old animosity and jealousy of the Jewish People has not ceased, and by extension the US is facing the same irrational and “world of lies” that we live in. Can a nation like, Venezuela, or Syria or Yemen lecture to the US or Israel about human rights and peace? 

A lesson ought to be taught to all these nations who voted in favor of the condemnation, at least to many of them, if not all of them, because the rest are just not redeemable. An all those who abstained, they cannot hide behind that category. As the Spanish saying goes: “tanto peca el que mata la vaca como el que le agara la pata – so much is guilty the one who kills the cow as the one who grabs her legs”. Do the abstainers think, they can clear their names by claiming they didn’t do anything? Acts of omissions, sometimes, are as much culpable as acts of commission! They should not be given a pass!   

And what happened to all “our allies” and friends of the United States? Or what about “our beneficiary” countries? Such ingrates!! So much help and support has the US given to so many countries, that without the US, they would not have existed at all, and yet, they have the audacity to bite the hand that feeds them. Let them go search for another hand, let’s see how better they will do.  

As the prophet Jeremiah 9:24-25 says:
הִנֵּ֛ה יָמִ֥ים בָּאִ֖ים נְאֻם־יְהֹוָ֑ה וּפָ֣קַדְתִּ֔י עַל־כָּל־מ֖וּל בְּעָרְלָֽה:

Behold, days are coming, says the Lord, when I will punish every one with uncircumcised [heart]”

עַל־מִצְרַ֣יִם וְעַל־יְהוּדָ֗ה וְעַל־אֱד֞וֹם וְעַל־בְּנֵ֚י עַמּוֹן֙ וְעַל־מוֹאָ֔ב וְעַל֙ כָּל־קְצוּצֵ֣י פֵאָ֔ה הַיֹּֽשְׁבִ֖ים בַּמִּדְבָּ֑ר כִּ֚י כָל־הַגּוֹיִם֙ עֲרֵלִ֔ים

“Egypt,.. Edom, the children of Ammon, Moab, and all those cast off [countries] of the corners [of the earth], who dwell in the desert, for all the nations are [of] uncircumcised [heart]…, 

And after “those days“, continues prophet Jeremiah 23:5-6

הִנֵּ֨ה יָמִ֚ים בָּאִים֙ נְאֻם־יְהֹוָ֔ה וַֽהֲקִֽמֹתִ֥י לְדָוִ֖ד צֶ֣מַח צַדִּ֑יק וּמָ֚לַךְ מֶ֙לֶךְ֙ וְהִשְׂכִּ֔יל וְעָשָׂ֛ה מִשְׁפָּ֥ט וּצְדָקָ֖ה בָּאָֽרֶץ:

Behold, days are coming, says the Lord, when I will set up of David a righteous shoot, and he shall reign a king and prosper, and he shall perform judgment and righteousness in the land.”

בְּיָמָיו֙ תִּוָּשַׁ֣ע יְהוּדָ֔ה וְיִשְׂרָאֵ֖ל יִשְׁכֹּ֣ן לָבֶ֑טַחIn his days,

“Judeah [Israel} shall be saved and Israel shall dwell safely…”

I hope and pray, those day will be coming shortly.

Shabbat Shalom,  

Rabbi Elie Abadie, M.D.                                                                    

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