Wednesday, January 04, 2006

TORAH STUDIES: Parshat Vayigash


Tevet 4, 5766 * January 4, 2006


Parshat Vayigash (Genesis 44:18-47:27)
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

In last week's Parshah, Mikeitz, Yehuda, told his father Yaakov that he would take his brother Binyamin down to Egypt. Yehuda gave his personal guarantee that he would bring Binyamin back to his father alive. At the very end of last week’s Parshah, Yosef claimed his brother Binyamin to be his servant after framing him for robbery. This week's Parshah and the first aliyah begins with the brother Yehuda stepping forward to speak to Yosef appealing to him to release Binyamin.


In the second aliyah Yehuda continues to speak to Yosef about Binyamin. He says that if Binyamin doesn't come back with the brothers, their father Yaakov will die. Yehuda offers that Yosef take himself (Yehuda) as a servant instead of Binyamin. At this point Yosef can't restrain himself any longer and finally reveals himself to his brothers with the words "Ani Yosef" (I am Yosef!). He tells them to not be upset about selling him down to Egypt, because as a result, he is in a position to sustain his family during these years of famine.


In the third aliyah Yosef directs his brothers to go up to their father in Canaan, and bring him down to live in the land of Goshen in Egypt and be sustained by Yosef. Yosef then finally embraces and cries with all his brothers, especially Binyamin.


In the fourth aliyah Yosef sends his brothers away in wagons carrying the good things of Egypt. They go up to their father and tell him that Yosef is still alive and ruler of Egypt. At first he doesn't believe them, but then he sees the wagons, and believes Yosef is alive. This is because the word for wagons in Hebrew is “agala”, which is similar to the word “egla”, as in “egla arufa”. Egla arufa refers to the Parshah about the Kohanim breaking the heifer's neck, which was the section of Torah Yosef and Yaakov were studying together 22 years earlier when Yosef disappeared. In this way Yosef gave Yaakov a sign that he was indeed still alive.


In the fifth aliyah, Yaakov packs up all his family and belongings and heads down to Egypt to see his beloved son Yosef. Along the way, in Beersheva, Yaakov is given assurance by G-d that he will be made into a great nation in Egypt, and that G-d will surely bring him back up from there (Rashi says this refers to the fact that Yaakov will be buried in Israel).


In the sixth aliyah Yaakov sends his son Yehuda out before the rest of the family to the land of Goshen in Egypt to set up a yeshiva there. Yosef hastily goes to meet his father. They haven’t seen each other for 22 years, and Yaakov had thought that Yosef was dead. The Torah says that when they met here they cried for a long time. Yosef prepares his family to meet Pharaoh, which they do, and Pharaoh invites them to live in Goshen.


The seventh aliyah describes the process of the Egyptian people coming to Yosef during the famine to buy food. At first they give their money, but when their money runs out, they pay with their cattle. Next, they give their land. Finally, they sell themselves into servitude for food. Meanwhile, in the land of Goshen, the Torah says that Yaakov’s family were fruitful and multiplied exceedingly.


Featured Audio Class on

Vayigash - Joseph's Leadership Role
By Moshe New

The lesson from Joseph: the strength and ability to be a leader and sustain society not just physically but spiritually as well.

More Audio/Video


Copyright © 1996
Kehot Publication Society
770 Eastern Parkway / Brooklyn, New York 11213
(718) 774-4000 / FAX (718) 774-2718

Brought to you by

For more Parshah study, please visit:


** Enjoyed this email? Please help us continue sharing the
study of Torah and Jewish traditions:

Dedicate or sponsor an email to mark your special occasion!
Please click here:

Please click here to make a donation to

** To subscribe to more email lists please click here:

** To be removed from this email list please click here:,22,261645,0,217
If you would just like your email suspended and resumed at a later
date, please let us know here:

** You are subscribed as: If your e-mail address is changing
please send us your new email address here:

Part of the Chabad Online Network

A division of Chabad Lubavitch Media Center
770 Eastern Parkway * Brooklyn, NY * 11213


No comments:

Related Posts with Thumbnails