Posted by: mosesfromsinai | December 6, 2010

VaYeegash – And He Approached

We are still lighting the Menorah during part of this week that VaYeegash is read.  It would be nice to have the actual Menorah and the Beit HaMikdash.  Miracles do happen.

In this week’s Torah reading, we see the protective attitude that Yehuda has towards his younger brother, Benyamin. Yehuda is prepared to offer himself as a slave instead of Benyamin.  Yehuda had made a commitment to his father that Benyamin would return unharmed.  Yehuda was determined to fulfill his duties to his father no matter what the cost was including his own life.  In some ways, this was similar to Yoseph’s dedication to his father 22 years ago when he obeyed his father’s request to go spy on his brothers even at the possible danger to his own life.

Perhaps this is what motivates Yoseph to reveal to his brothers who he really is.  Yoseph recognizes the commitment to their father, Yakov, and that strong bond that exists between his brothers and in particular Yehuda and Benyamin. Yoseph feels confident that they will overcome the struggles that they may face during the time spent in exile.

Yehuda symbolizes the Jewish nation (Yehudeem – Jews) and Benyamin represents the Beit Hamikdash (the Beit Hamikdash was built in Benyamin’s portion in the land of Israel).  When Yehuda is committed with his life to Benyamin-when the Jewish people are bound and committed with their lives to the Beit Hamikdash (Jerusalem) and their brothers (sisters) they will overcome the struggles that they may face during the time spent in exile.  It is interesting to note that the hero of Chanuka is Yehuda Macabee (though he was a Kohen).  It is also interesting to note that the hero of Purim is Mordechai HaYehudi (though he was from the tribe of Benyamin).  Both Yehuda Macabee and Mordechai HaYehudi were instrumental in saving the Jewish nation and had an impact that affected us until this present time and beyond.  From Yehuda we can learn that with our commitment to our brothers (sisters), body and soul, and to Jerusalem and the Beit Hamikdash, we will certainly overcome the remaining short period of time we still have in exile.

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