Vayigash: Reconciliation?

December 25, 2020 By: Rabbi Jay Kelman
Hugs, kisses, joy and forgiveness. So appears the reunion of Yosef and his family after twenty-two long years. “Don’t be sad nor reproach yourselves for having sold me here, G-d had sent me ahead of you to insure your survival in the land” (Breisheet 45:5). It sounds almost as if Yosef is thanking the brothers for having sold him into slavery. In fact, Yosef continues, “it was not you who sent me here, but G-d” (...
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VaYigash: A Pilot Trip

January 03, 2020 By: Rabbi Jay Kelman
  "And he [Yaakov] sent Judah ahead of him l'horot, to make preparations, in Goshen (Breisheet 46:28). With great fear and trepidation, Yaakov, along with 68 of his descendants, began the long trip down to Egypt. Despite his tremendous joy at knowing Yosef was alive and doing very well, Yaakov—not without reason—feared for the spiritual future of his descendants. Only after G-d assured him...
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VaYigash: Looking Ahead

December 14, 2018 By: Rabbi Jay Kelman
Since the time of Joseph, infighting has been the Achilles heel of the Jewish people, causing untold pain, suffering and national calamity. So much of our collective energies are wasted on disagreements with others; many of them are so trivial when viewed from the perspective of history. The schisms of the 19th century, caused to a large extent by such topics as sermons in the vernacular or the placement of the bimah in a shul, are...
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VaYigash: Painful Reunion

December 22, 2017 By: Rabbi Jay Kelman
Etiquette and diplomatic niceties are the hallmarks of the world of politics. Political leaders are trained to speak ambiguously and in a way that can allow for future re-interpretation (misinterpretation?) as the need arises. It is only in private, and even then quite rarely, that diplomats may express themselves with candour and frankness. Pharaoh's court—with its butlers, bakers and servants galore—was a place where political...
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VaYigash: An Egyptian Education

January 06, 2017 By: Rabbi Jay Kelman
“And you shall surely know that your descendants will be strangers in a land that is not theirs for 400 years” (Breisheet 15:12). The Jewish people were destined to form their cultural identity in a foreign land. The Torah never specifically mentions that the foreign land would be Egypt. Yet it is not by chance that the land of our formation would be Egypt. While the Torah warns us not to follow in the ways of the Egyptians (...
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