Shmot - weekly Torah portion

When the family of Jacob began its move to the land of Egypt the numbers were small, “All the persons who came from the loins of Jacob were seventy in number, but Joseph was already in Egypt.” As time passed, and after the death of Joseph “and all his brothers and all that generation” the numbers grew significantly, and “he sons of Israel were fruitful and increased greatly, and multiplied, and became exceedingly mighty, so that the land was filled with them.” For the time being it seems that everything is safe, Joseph died, and then the entire generation, and over time the memory of a leader named Joseph faded away. Eventually, “a new king arose over Egypt, who did not know Joseph.” A new k

Vayechy - weekly Torah portion

Imagine this event – Jacob, also known as Israel, at the end of his days on earth, a sick man. His son, Joseph, brings his two sons, Manasseh, his first born, and Ephraim, his younger brother, so that Jacob may bless them from his deathbed. Jacob hears about this upcoming visit and it does him good, “Israel collected his strength and sat up in the bed.” So that Jacob finds it easier to bless the kids Joseph placed them before the blind old man, “Ephraim with his right hand toward Israel’s left, and Manasseh with his left hand toward Israel’s right, and brought them close to him.” This way Jacob’s right hand would be easily place on the elder brother’s head, and so that the left hand could be

Vayigash - weekly Torah portion

Joseph cannot hold back anymore. His brothers who do not yet recognize him tell him the tale of their lost brother presumed dead, the brother who is actually Joseph himself. So he orders, “’Have everyone go out from me.’ So there was no man with him when Joseph made himself known to his brothers.” He is very touched by this occasion and despite of his high position, only second to the Pharaoh, he wept uncontrollably. He wept so loudly “that the Egyptians heard it, and the household of Pharaoh heard of it.” Joseph turns to his brothers and says, “I am Joseph! Is my father still alive?” but the brothers “could not answer him, for they were dismayed at his presence.” A moment ago they were stil

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