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The Torah Learning Library of Yeshivat Chovevei Torah

Category: Vayigash

The Demands and Limits of Honoring Your Parents

by Rabbi Haggai ResnikoffPosted on September 9, 2016

The following sources relate to the story of Joseph in Parashat Vayigash, and compare his actions to what we know about the mitzvah of honoring one’s parents. Ramban, Bereshit, ch. 42 יש לתמוה אחר שעמד יוסף במצרים ימים רבים והיה פקיד ונגיד בבית שר גדול במצרים, איך לא שלח כתב אחד לאביו להודיעו ולנחמו, כי מצרים קרוב לחברון כששה ימים, ואילו היה מהלך שנה היה ראוי להודיעו לכבוד אביו… It is astonishing: after Joseph lived in Egypt for many days, and was an officer and a ruler in the house of a great Prince of Egypt, how is that he didn’t send a message to his father to tell him and to console him.…

The Importance of Tears

by Rabbi Avi WeissPosted on May 25, 2016

When Yaakov (Jacob) meets his son Yosef (Joseph) after seventeen years of separation the Torah states, “And he wept on his neck” (Genesis 46:29). Since the sentence speaks of only one individual crying, “and he wept,” who is the Torah referring to?…

“People Talking Without Speaking”

by Rabbi Dov LinzerPosted on December 17, 2015

Silence is the last word one would use to characterize the climax of the story of Yosef and his brothers. Indeed, parashat Vayigash opens with Yehudah’s heartfelt and impassioned plea to Yosef to free Binyamin. These words are so powerful in conveying Yehudah’s unflinching loyalty to Binyamin and the anguish of his father Yaakov that Yosef can no longer contain himself; his emotions burst forth, and he reveals himself to his brothers.…

The Buck Stops Here

by Rabbi Dov LinzerPosted on December 21, 2012

The Yosef narrative of the last few parshiyot – the longest narrative of Breishit – has been focusing, not surprisingly, on the character of Yosef.  But also central to this story is the person of Yehudah, and his growing into the role of a leader.…

Faith in God and Personal Responsibility

by Rabbi Dov LinzerPosted on December 10, 2010

We saw previously that Yehudah and Reuven, while both taking initiative to deal with crisis situations, exhibited very different leadership styles. While Reuven was rash and impetuous, Yehudah thought things through carefully, and when he took on a responsibility, his word was his bond, and he would see the situation through to its resolution.…

Faith in God, Not Playing God

by Rabbi Dov LinzerPosted on December 15, 1997

Parsha Vayigash opens with the climactic moment in the Joseph saga. After having forced his brothers to bring down Benjamin by holding Simeon captive, Joseph plants his silver chalice in Benjamin’s bags and demands that Benjamin remain in Egypt as his slave.…