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This Week's The Torah Portion: "Vayigash"


The Hebrews, now an extended family of 70, have survived the famine by relocating to Egypt. Jacob, patriarch of the family, spends the final years of his life in Egypt, reunited with his beloved son Joseph.

On his deathbed now, Jacob summons his children. One by one, he offers each a final blessing before he passes away. Joseph brings his father's body back to Canaan and buries him in the family plot at Hebron. There Jacob lies, to this very day, alongside his wife Leah.

Many years later, when Joseph himself is about to pass away, he too instructs his family to bury him back in Canaan: "...On the day that G-d remembers you and brings you back to our homeland, I pray you, carry my bones back with you to Canaan." 400 years later, before leading the Israelites out of Egyptian bondage, Moses will fulfill Joseph's request! Indeed, the ancient Rabbis inform us: "Two arks were transported across the wilderness to the Promised Land: One contained the Ten Commandments; the other, the bones of Joseph".

Genesis, the first book of the Bible, is now ended!
"Be strong! Be strong! And let us strengthen one other!" "...Hazak Hazk V'nithazek!"

Shabbat Shalom,
Rabbi Alvin Wainhaus

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