VAYIGASH – And he approached….


In the Eleventh section of the Book of Genesis, we read the dramatic climax of the chronicle of Joseph meeting his brother Benjamin and aged Father Jacob.

Judah then approached Joseph ….(44:18)

Judah did not shy away from speaking harshly with Joseph; moreover, he began his harsh appeal. He knew that when someone’s life is at stake, we must not be diplomatic; our listeners must sense that we are not involved because of ulterior motives, such as political or financial interests.  When it is clear that the cause for which we are fighting cuts to the core of our being, it will evoke an honourable and compassionate response.

Today’s “Benjamin’s”, our Jewish children, are threatened by a different sort of “Egypt” – that of assimilation. To save these “Benjamin’s”, we cannot await for somebody to appoint committees that will conduct lengthy research and then deliberate over what should be done and how much it will cost, etc. When lives are at stake, we must do whatever we can to save them, immediately.

Judah’s efforts proved unexpectedly fruitful: his presumed enemy, proved to be a greatest ally, and even King Pharaoh himself provided the greatest means of securing the uncompromised continuity of Jewish tradition. So it will be when we follow Judah’s example, selflessly and vigorously exerting ourselves on behalf of our Jewish children.

Have a wonderful Shabbat and successful week to follow.