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Shabbat Parashat Vayechi 5782

Parashat Hashavua: More on Sales and Family Repair

Harav Yosef Carmel

The reunion/conciliation meeting that we saw last week returns in our parasha for a “second edition.” The crying is renewed, and the question of how to repair the torn fabric of Yaakov/Yosef’s family is back on the table in full force after Yaakov’s death and the brothers’ suspicion that Yosef is prepared to take revenge.

Let us compare the language of the two relevant conversations. In the first one, the brothers start with the offer/request that they will be Yosef’s slaves, and then when he reveals his identity and tells them that he is their brother whom they sold into slavery and cries, he consoles them with his contention that this sale brought about their survival during the famine (Bereishit 45:2-5). In our parasha, they again offer to be slaves and Yosef again cries, but while Yosef placates their greatest fears, he does say that the brothers had thought in an ill manner about him (ibid. 50:17-20).

Although the two episodes share fear, crying, and putting a somewhat positive spin on the family’s history, there are differences. The second one does not mention the sale of Yosef, but, on the other hand, there is more focus on the brothers’ bad thoughts than on the salvation that came about. The idea behind this is that while the sale itself was atoned for by Yehuda’s willingness to be a slave instead of Binyamin, the brothers’ intention to remove Yosef from Eretz Yisrael and from Yaakov’s family was not fully resolved.

This matter is actually resolved in a third meeting between the brothers, at the end of Sefer Bereishit, as Yosef was preparing to die. At that time, Yosef prophesies that at some time in the future, the family/nation would leave Egypt, and Yosef makes them swear that they will return his remains to Eretz Yisrael, in which he has a double portion (ibid. 50:24-25).

In Yosef’s dreams, in the beginning of Parashat Vayeishev, Yosef stresses that he is a successor of the patriarchs, Avraham, Yitzchak, and Yaakov, who prophesied through dreams. For that reason, he was fit to inherit the Land that Hashem gave to them. When the brothers sold Yosef into slavery and to Egypt, they in effect denied both of these contentions. Yaakov promises Yosef that he would in fact receive a double portion in the Land, giving him a status of a firstborn (ibid. 48:21-22). Yosef passes on word of this status to his brothers and makes them swear that they will return him to Eretz Yisrael from where he was kidnapped and removed. Fulfillment of that oath will repair the damage of the sin. In that way, the brothers recognize Yosef’s leadership in all aspects. This mends the tear that began with the horrible moment of the ripping of Yosef’s special coat.

There is no liberation without internal peace within the nation.

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Nir Rephael ben Rachel Bracha
Yisrael ben Rivka

Rivka Reena bat Gruna Natna

Arye Yitzchak ben Geula Miriam

Neta bat Malka

Meira bat Esther

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Hemdat Yamim is dedicated

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Those who fell in wars

for our homeland


Rav Shlomo Merzel z”l
Iyar 10, 5771

Reuven & Chaya Leah Aberman z"l
Tishrei 9
,5776 / Tishrei 20, 5782


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Sivan 17 / Av 20


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Tishrei 20 ,5781


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Rav Carmel's father

Iyar 8 ,5776


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bat RMoshe Zev a”h.

Tamuz 10 ,5774


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Kislev 9 / Elul 5780

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Tevet 16 ,5780


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Sebbag, z"l


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Cheshvan 13, 5778


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Tamuz 23, 5777


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Iyar 18 ,5779


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Av 4


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Tammuz 19, 5778


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Adar 28, 5781

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Av 30, 5781


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Tevet 15 5768


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