Friday, December 21, 2012

Parsha Vayigash, Stories, A Miracle, Newtown CT plus

I received this a short time after my last Drasha went out: My Hebrew name is Aliahu, my mothers name is Silvia Sonia please pray for him. I have come to understand a little better how fighting the other side works.  You cannot attack your desires directly and battle with them, as any attention paid will only make things worse.  When one is fortunate enough to be sent suffering in this world, rather than be punished in the next, the suffering breaks one's attachments, and interest is lost in the forbidden things.  When you do not feel well, you can look at something that your previously desired, and it is now boring, having lost all excitement.  When Rebbe Nachman could not breath due to his tuberculosis, I doubt very much if any mundane things were important to him.  In a likewise manner, lowly things that I liked before, I just shrug my shoulders at, and find them completely boring.  I am feeling good enough now to sin, yet the prior sinning seems kind of stupid.  I am certain that as my soul finds my body more attractive, it will attach itself to me better, and my health will continue to improve.
Finally, there few grand revelations in this life.  The study of one lesson a day, will result in  gradual, and permanent change that one may not even be aware of while it is happening. Other side is synonym for Yetzer HaRa.

Re: Tamar - Shalom R’ Rachamim, How is she playing the harlot when married?   To who is she married?  She was promised to son #3, but that wasn't going to happen -- and doesn't the woman get to say "no" at anytime prior to the marriage?  Presumably she wants a kid from the same seed as the dead husband, but if she doesn't there is no death-penalty on her.  So what is the real deal here? - Liab
The fact that Tamar was a widow at the time she “became pregnant” is irrelevant to marriage for she had the linkage of Yebum (Levirate Marriage) to the brother/father in this case. Yehuda did not give her his remaining son and he did not know that she was pregnant by him. She did nothing wrong. But to Yehuda she became pregnant with somebody unknown to the family.

Orthodox Union Expresses Sorrow and Sympathy Over Heinous Crime in Connecticut
The leadership of the Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations of America expresses its profound sorrow over the senseless violence perpetrated today against innocent children and adults in their Newtown, Connecticut schoolhouse. We offer our deepest sympathy to the families and the community. Alongside our homes, our schools must be places of security for our children in an otherwise uncertain world. The Orthodox Union will join with all Americans of good will to assure the security of our children and our places of learning. For more:

Parsha Vayigash

Seeing the whole picture of Yacov Avinu: Yacov has lost by the time our Parsha takes place both Rachel and Leah (for she was buried in Chevron). Perhaps he still has one or both of the servant wives. He cannot be consoled for the loss of Yosef. I don’t care that Rashi says after a year the deceased is forgotten. I have known parents that have lost children who are never consoled and as Yacov said earlier, I will go down Sheola aka to my grave with the loss of Yosef. After he deals with his daily prayers and daily mourning, he has a family of grown up sons running the herding empire that he had created. He now also, 22 years after Yosef left, has many grown up grandchildren in the business too. He among his grandchildren unto whom to teach the stories and Midrashim of Creation, the Flood and Times of Avraham and Yitzchak. 

Up until now, Yosef was disguised up until this time. He is still wary about his brothers now Yehuda shows that he can be a leader and also a big brother to Benyamin. At this point Yosef feels the brotherly love and he can no longer hide himself. This is probably the most emotional drama in the whole Tanach. It could be that Esav meeting Yacov was also emotional and Yacov confronting Lavan after having woken up with Leah in his bed in the morning was probably full of drama but nothing tops the description here. For there is no mention of emotions of Noach and sons losing all their friends and cousins and getting that lonesome feeling and we only have the Medrash to tell us that for 130 years Adam did not talk to Chava after being kicked out of Gan Eden.

44:18 Then Judah came near unto him, and said: 'Oh my lord, let thy servant, I pray thee, speak a word in my lord's ears, and let not your anger burn against thy servant; for you are even as Pharaoh.

for you are like Pharaoh: This is its simple meaning. Its Midrashic meaning is, however: You will ultimately be punished with צָרַעַת because of him, just as Pharaoh was punished because of my great-grandmother Sarah for the one night that he detained her (Gen. 12:17). Another explanation: Just as Pharaoh issues decrees and does not carry them out, makes promises and does not fulfill them, so do you. Now, is this the “setting of an eye,” concerning which you said [that you wanted] “to set your eye upon him” ? [See verse 21.] Another explanation: For like you, so is Pharaoh-if you provoke me, I will kill you and your master. [From Gen. Rabbah 93:6]

This brings up a strong question to Yehuda: You want to tell me about Sara and Pharaoh but I will tell you about Yehuda suggesting the sale of Yosef!

19 My lord asked his servants, saying: Have ye a father, or a brother?

My lord asked his servants: From the beginning, you came upon us with a pretext. Why did you have to ask all these [questions]? Were we looking to [marry] your daughter, or were you looking to [marry] our sister? Nonetheless, “we said to my lord” (verse 20). We did not conceal anything. [From Gen. Rabbah 93:8]

These country bumpkin shepherds did not think about the suspicious nature of the inquiry. Why would a PM ask such questions of these bumpkins?

20 And we said unto my lord: We have a father, an old man, and a child of his old age, a little one; and his brother is dead, and he alone is left of his mother, and his father loves him.

And his brother is dead: Out of fear, he made a false statement. He said [to himself], “If I tell him that he is alive, he will say, ‘Bring him to me.’” [from Gen. Rabbah 93:8] alone of his mother: From that mother, he has no other brother. [From Targum Jonathan ben Uzziel]

Yosef of course understands their Pshat as Rashi states it.

21 And you said unto thy servants: Bring him down unto me, that I may set mine eyes upon him. 22 And we said unto my lord: The lad cannot leave his father; for if he should leave his father, his father would die.

For if he leaves his father, he will die: If he leaves his father, we are worried lest he die on the way, for his mother died on the way. [after Targum Jonathan ben Uzziel]

Also underlying all this is the fact that the brothers know that when Shimon was put into jail that was a sign that it was measure for measure for selling somebody into slavery. However, at this juncture, Benyamin has not guilt and it is not measure for measure.

23 And thou said unto thy servants: Except your youngest brother come down with you, ye shall see my face no more. 24 And it came to pass when we came up unto thy servant my father, we told him the words of my lord. 25 And our father said: Go again, buy us a little food. 26 And we said: We cannot go down; if our youngest brother be with us, then will we go down; for we may not see the man's face, except our youngest brother be with us. 27 And thy servant my father said unto us: Ye know that my wife bore me two sons; 28 and the one went out from me, and I said: Surely he is torn in pieces; and I have not seen him since; 29 and if ye take this one also from me, and harm befall him, ye will bring down my gray hairs with sorrow to the grave.

And misfortune befalls him: For Satan accuses at the time of danger. [From Gen. Rabbah 91:9] you will bring down my hoary head in misery, etc.: Now that he is with me, I comfort myself over [the loss of] his mother and over [the loss of] his brother, but if this one [too] dies, it will seem to me as if the three of them died in one day. [From Gen. Rabbah ff. 93:8]

30 Now therefore when I come to thy servant my father, and the lad is not with us; seeing that his soul is bound up with the lad's soul; 31 it will come to pass, when he sees that the lad is not with us, that he will die; and thy servants will bring down the gray hairs of thy servant our father with sorrow to the grave.

It will come to pass, when he sees that the boy is not here, he will die: His father will die because of his calamity [of the loss of his son].

32 For thy servant became surety for the lad unto my father, saying: If I bring him not unto thee, then shall I bear the blame to my father forever.

For your servant assumed responsibility for the boy: Now if you ask why I enter the fray more than my other brothers, [I will reply that] they are all [standing] from the outside [without commitment], while I have bound myself with a strong bond to be an outcast in both worlds. [From Gen. Rabbah 93:8]

33 Now therefore, let thy servant, I pray thee, abide instead of the lad a bondman to my lord; and let the lad go up with his brethren.

Please let your servant stay: I am superior to him in all respects: in strength, in battle, and in service. [From Gen. Rabbah 93:8]

Ah the Sinas Chinam (groundless hatred) has turned to brotherly love (which was lacking before) and Yehuda is willing to take his lumps for a horrible deed that he did in the past with the sale of Yosef. Teshuva is now complete and all hatred for Yosef and the children of Rachel and all jealousy is gone!

34 For how shall I go up to my father, if the lad be not with me? lest I look upon the evil that shall come on my father.'

I am incapable of witnessing the death of my father when I have given my word guarantying the lad’s return. (He might not be a lad considering he was a number of years old when Yosef was sold and to this add 22 years – but to Yehuda and his father, he was despite the fact that he had 10 boys already.)

45:1 Then Joseph could not refrain himself before all them that stood by him; and he cried: 'Cause every man to go out from me.' And there stood no man with him, while Joseph made himself known unto his brethren.

At this point all the brothers are shaking in their boots. Rashi explains these men were the disgusting Hebrews to the Egyptians. (See the commentary of last week – this the equivalent to saying oh those Jews today.)

Now Joseph could not bear all those standing: He could not bear that Egyptians would stand beside him and hear his brothers being embarrassed when he would make himself known to them. [From Tanchuma Vayigash 5]

2 And he wept aloud; and the Egyptians heard, and the house of Pharaoh heard.

Meaning household staff - and the house of Pharaoh heard: Heb. פַּרְעֹה בֵּית, the house of Pharaoh, namely his servants and the members of his household. This does not literally mean a house, but it is like “the house of Israel” (Ps. 115:12), “the house of Judah” (I Kings 12:21), mesnede in Old French, household. [From Targum Onkelos]

3 And Joseph said unto his brethren: 'I am Joseph; does my father yet live?' And his brethren could not answer him; for they were affrighted at his presence.

The Medrash explains the question as a double meaning. First, my father would have to be 130 years old, is still alive? Secondly as a rebuke, you say that he cannot live without Benyamin and yet he lived without me, his favorite son!

4 And Joseph said unto his brethren: 'Come near to me, I pray you.' And they came near. And he said: 'I am Joseph your brother, whom ye sold into Egypt.

I may be a mighty ruler, very rich and very powerful and yet: I AM YOUR BROTHER!

Please come closer: He saw them drawing backwards. He said, “Now my brothers are embarrassed” (Tanchuma Vayigash 5). He called them tenderly and pleadingly and showed them that he was circumcised (Gen. Rabbah 93:10).

5 And now be not grieved, nor angry with yourselves, that ye sold me hither; for God did send me before you to preserve life.

He shows forgiveness here but we see in next week’s Parsha that when Yacov passes away they are scared for fear of vengeance. Yosef is on the level to see HASHEM’s grand plan which the brothers could not see.

6 For these two years hath the famine been in the land; and there are yet five years, in which there shall be neither plowing nor harvest.

HASHEM has shown Pharaoh the future through a dream. You now have seen what happened to “the dreamer of dreams” so harken and come down here and I will guarantee you and yours food.

7 And God sent me before you to give you a remnant on the earth, and to save you alive for a great deliverance. 8 So now it was not you that sent me hither, but God; and He hath made me a father to Pharaoh, and lord of all his house, and ruler over all the land of Egypt.

Father unto Pharaoh – a guide, educator and senior advisor! G-D has sent me here: Again they were just tools in transferring Yosef to Mitzrayim, he could have been kidnapped by slavers too.

9 Hasten ye, and go up to my father, and say unto him: Thus says thy son Joseph: God has made me lord of all Egypt; come down unto me, tarry not. 10 And thou shalt dwell in the land of Goshen, and thou shalt be near unto me, thou, and thy children, and thy children's children, and thy flocks, and thy herds, and all that thou hast; 11 and there will I sustain thee; for there are yet five years of famine; lest thou come to poverty, thou, and thy household, and all that thou hast.

Lest you become impoverished: Heb. פֶּן-תִּוָּרֵשׁ, [which Onkelos renders:] דָּלְמָא תִתְמַסְכַּן, lest you become impoverished, [which is] an expression similar to “impoverishes (מוֹרִישׁ) and makes rich” (I Sam. 2:7).

12 And, behold, your eyes see, and the eyes of my brother Benjamin, that it is my mouth that speaks unto you.

Now look closer at me as I stand next to Benyamin don’t you see how similar we are. I may be dressed as an Egyptian and not have Peyos but look how much Benyamin and I look alike – my words on the Medrash.

And behold, your eyes see: my glory and that I am your brother, for I am circumcised, and moreover, that it is my mouth that is speaking to you in the holy tongue (Gen. Rabbah 93:10). as well as the eyes of my brother Benjamin: He compared them all together, saying that “just as I harbor no hatred against my brother Benjamin, for he did not participate in selling me, neither do I have any hatred in my heart against you.” [from Meg. 16b]

13 And ye shall tell my father of all my glory in Egypt, and of all that ye have seen; and ye shall hasten and bring down my father hither.' 14 And he fell upon his brother Benjamin's neck, and wept; and Benjamin wept upon his neck.

Rashi brings down the Medrash but I like the simple emotional Pshat of the Chumash. After all he knew little Benny as baby brother perhaps not even Bar Mitzvah age and now he is big Ben the father of 10 sons. I think 22 years of being without his brother is enough to weep.

And he fell on his brother Benjamin’s neck and wept: for the two sanctuaries which were destined to be in Benjamin’s territory and would ultimately be destroyed. [From Meg. 16b] and Benjamin wept on his neck: for the Tabernacle of Shiloh, which was destined to be in Joseph’s territory yet would ultimately be destroyed. [From Meg. 16b, Gen. Rabbah 93:12]

15 And he kissed all his brethren, and wept upon them; and after that his brethren talked with him. 16 And the report thereof was heard in Pharaoh's house, saying: 'Joseph's brethren are come'; and it pleased Pharaoh well, and his servants.

And the voice was heard [in] Pharaoh’s house: Heb. בֵּית פַּרְעֹה, equivalent to בְּבֵית פַּרְעֹה, and this is an expression [denoting] an actual house. [From Targum Onkelos]

Just think about having more Yosef types here. Can you imagine what technology these people are capable of developing and engineering feats like the Pyramids? Oh perhaps Pharaoh thought of these brothers developing a polio vaccine, wireless technology, computer chips and curing heart problems and some genetic disorders.

17 And Pharaoh said unto Joseph: 'Say unto thy brethren: You do this: lade your beasts, and go, get you unto the land of Canaan; 18 and take your father and your households, and come unto me; and I will give you the good of the land of Egypt, and ye shall eat the fat of the land. 19 Now you art commanded, you do this: take you wagons out of the land of Egypt for your little ones, and for your wives, and bring your father, and come.

The best of the land of Egypt: [I.e.,] the land of Goshen. He prophesied but did not know what he was prophesying. They (the Israelites) would eventually make it (Egypt) like the depths of the sea, which have no fish. [From Avoth d’Rabbi Nathan, second version, ch. 43; Ber. 9b] the fat of the land: Heb. חֵלֶב הָאָרֶץ. Every [instance of] חֵלֶב is an expression meaning the best. [From Targum Onkelos]

Nowadays it is swampy and contains lots and lots of Mosquitoes.

20 Also regard not your stuff; for the good things of all the land of Egypt are yours.' 21 And the sons of Israel did so; and Joseph gave them wagons, according to the commandment of Pharaoh, and gave them provision for the way. 22 To all of them he gave each man changes of raiment; but to Benjamin he gave three hundred shekels of silver, and five changes of raiment. 23 And to his father he sent in like manner ten asses laden with the good things of Egypt, and ten she-asses laden with corn and bread and victual for his father by the way.

He sent the following: Heb. כְּזֹאת, lit., like this, [meaning:] according to this amount. And what is the amount? Ten he-donkeys, etc. of the best of Egypt: We find in the Talmud (Meg. 16b) that he sent him aged wine because elderly people find contentment with it. [I.e., the fact that wine improves with age often affords contentment to the elderly.] According to the Midrash Aggadah (Gen. Rabbah 94:2 on verse 18), however, this refers to pounded beans [which have a soothing effect on a troubled spirit]. grain, bread: As the Targum renders. and [other] food: Things eaten with bread.

24 So he sent his brethren away, and they departed; and he said unto them: 'See that ye fall not out by the way.'

Do not quarrel on the way: Heb. אַל-תִּרְגְזוּ בַּדָּר Do not engage in a halachic discussion lest the way cause you to stray. Another explanation: Do not walk with large steps, and enter the city while the sun is shining (Ta’anith 10b). According to the simple meaning of the verse, we can say that since they were ashamed, he (Joseph) was concerned that they would perhaps quarrel on the way about his being sold, debating with one another, and saying, “Because of you he was sold. You slandered him and caused us to hate him.”

Do things post haste and return as soon as possible.

25 And they went up out of Egypt, and came into the land of Canaan unto Jacob their father. 26 And they told him, saying: 'Joseph is yet alive, and he is ruler over all the land of Egypt.' And his heart fainted, for he believed them not.

There is a story how they broke the message that Yosef was alive to Yacov. First they had Serach ben Asher sing a song about Yosef being alive. They told him that that Yosef was alive and he did not believe them. Finally he saw Agalos and he remembered the Eglos that he was learning with Yosef the Din of Egel Arufa.

And [they told him] that he ruled: Heb. וְכִי הוּא משֵׁל, and that he rules. and his heart changed: Heb. וַיָפָג לִבָּוֹ. His heart changed and went away from believing. His heart did not turn to [believe] these words. [וַיָפָג is] a term similar to “their taste changes” (מְפִיגִין טַעְמָן) in the language of the Mishnah (Bezah 14a), and “without respite (הֲפֻגוֹת)” (Lam. 3:49). Also “and its bouquet did not change” (Jer. 48: 11) is translated [into Aramaic] as v’raycha lo pag. (The Hebrew did not transfer over properly do to the paragraphing)

27 And they told him all the words of Joseph, which he had said unto them; and when he saw the wagons which Joseph had sent to carry him, the spirit of Jacob their father revived.

All of Joseph’s words: He (Joseph) gave them a sign, viz., in what topic he was engaged when he (Joseph) separated from him (Jacob). [That was] the section dealing with the heifer that was to be beheaded (עֶגְלָה עִרוּפָה) (Deut. 21), and this is what [Scripture] says, “and he saw the wagons that Joseph had sent,” and it (Scripture) does not say, “that Pharaoh had sent.” [from Gen. Rabbah 94:3] and the spirit of…Jacob was revived: The Shechinah, which had separated from him [because of his grief], rested upon him [once again]. [From Avoth d’Rabbi Nathan , ch. 30, Targum Onkelos , Targum Jonathan]

This scene reminds me of Sancho saying to Don Quixote “Remember, you must remember” and with this Yacov becomes alive again and with Simcha prophecy returns to him.    

28 And Israel said: 'It is enough; Joseph my son is yet alive; I will go and see him before I die.'

Enough! My son Joseph is still alive: I have enough happiness and joy, since my son Joseph is still alive. [From Targum Onkelos, Targum Jonathan]

Nu, what are we waiting for let’s get cracking and on our merry way to see Yosef.

46:1 And Israel took his journey with all that he had, and came to Beer-sheba, and offered sacrifices unto the God of his father Isaac.

to Beer-sheba: Heb. בְּאֵרָה שָׁבַע, like לִבְאֵר שָׁבַע, to Beer-sheba. The “hey” at the end of the word takes the place of the “lammed” at its beginning. [From Yeb. 13b] to the God of his father Isaac: One is required to honor his father more than he is required to honor his grandfather. Therefore, the sacrifices are associated with Isaac and not with Abraham. [From Gen. Rabbah 94:5]

There is something to be said for returning to the places where his father and grandfather offered up sacrifices and making a Korban Todah about his thanksgiving at hearing the joyous news that Yosef is still alive. Moreover he knew that if one of his sons died he would not have a place in the next world so all the more so.

2 And God spoke unto Israel in the visions of the night, and said: 'Jacob, Jacob.' And he said: 'Here am I.'

“Jacob, Jacob!”: An expression of affection. [From Sifra, Vayikra 1, Toseftas Ber. 1:15] [The repetition of his name is an expression of affection.]

In my humble opinion like with Avraham and the sacrifice of Yitzchak, the calling twice was to get his complete attention. Also to emphasize the truthfulness of the dream or vision as explained with the repeating bowing down and Pharaoh’s dreams.

3 And He said: 'I am God, the God of thy father; fear not to go down into Egypt; for I will there make of thee a great nation.

Do not be afraid of going down to Egypt: [God encouraged him] because he was troubled at being compelled to leave the Holy Land.

When Avraham went to Egypt, Sara was taken away from him and there was no real fear of G-D in that place. Yosef instilled fear of G-D though his humbleness and behavior. This Gallus for you is not going to be like that with Lavan but rather while you are alive and your sons the family will live in the lap of luxury.

4 I will go down with thee into Egypt; and I will also surely bring thee up again; and Joseph shall put his hand upon your eyes.'

And I will also bring you up: He promised him (Jacob) that he would be interred in the [Holy] Land. — [from Yerushalmi Sotah 1:10]

I see going down as a positive sign. This shows that the Shechina also goes into exile when the Bnei Yisrael go into Gallus. As it says in Avos “Everyplace MY NAME is called I will be there”.

5 And Jacob rose up from Beer-Sheba; and the sons of Israel carried Jacob their father, and their little ones, and their wives, in the wagons which Pharaoh had sent to carry him. 6 And they took their cattle, and their goods, which they had gotten in the land of Canaan, and came into Egypt, Jacob, and all his seed with him;

That they had acquired in the land of Canaan: But of what he had acquired in Padan-Aram he gave everything to Esau [in payment] for his share in the Cave of Machpelah. He said, “Possessions [acquired] outside the Land (of Israel) are inappropriate for me.” This is the meaning of “which I acquired for myself with heaps (כָּרִיתִי)” (Gen. 50:5). He placed before him stacks of gold and silver like a heap [of grain] (כְּרִי) and said to him, “Take these.” [from Tanchuma Buber, Vayishlach 11]

One does not have to completely hold by this Medrash as there is another Medrash that Esav’s head rolled towards the Machpelah rather let’s face Yacov was over 30 years in Eretz Yisrael. The camels, cattle, donkeys, sheep and goats had passed through a few generations so everything that Yacov had was from Eretz Yisrael and none remained from Padan-Aram.

7 his sons, and his sons' sons with him, his daughters, and his sons' daughters, and all his seed brought he with him into Egypt.

From this point until the end of the section where I pick up the commentary, there is a numeration of the children and grandchildren of Yisrael.

8 And these are the names of the children of Israel, who came into Egypt, Jacob and his sons: Reuben, Jacob's first-born. 9 And the sons of Reuben: Hanoch, and Pallu, and Hezron, and Carmi. 10 And the sons of Simeon: Jemuel, and Jamin, and Ohad, and Jachin, and Zohar, and Shaul the son of a Canaanitish woman. 11 And the sons of Levi: Gershon, Kohath, and Merari. 12 And the sons of Judah: Er, and Onan, and Shelah, and Perez, and Zerah; but Er and Onan died in the land of Canaan. And the sons of Perez were Hezron and Hamul. 13 And the sons of Issachar: Tola, and Puvah, and Iob, and Shimron. 14 And the sons of Zebulun: Sered, and Elon, and Jahleel. 15 These are the sons of Leah, whom she bore unto Jacob in Paddan-aram, with his daughter Dinah; all the souls of his sons and his daughters were thirty and three. 16 And the sons of Gad: Ziphion, and Haggi, Shuni, and Ezbon, Eri, and Arodi, and Areli. 17 And the sons of Asher: Imnah, and Ishvah, and Ishvi, and Beriah, and Serah their sister; and the sons of Beriah: Heber, and Malchiel. 18 These are the sons of Zilpah, whom Laban gave to Leah his daughter, and these she bore unto Jacob, even sixteen souls. 19 The sons of Rachel Jacob's wife: Joseph and Benjamin. 20 And unto Joseph in the land of Egypt were born Manasseh and Ephraim, whom Asenath the daughter of Poti-phera priest of On bore unto him. 21 And the sons of Benjamin: Bela, and Becher, and Ashbel, Gera, and Naaman, Ehi, and Rosh, Muppim, and Huppim, and Ard. 22 These are the sons of Rachel, who were born to Jacob; all the souls were fourteen. 23 And the sons of Dan: Hushim. 24 And the sons of Naphtali: Jahzeel, and Guni, and Jezer, and Shillem. 25 These are the sons of Bilhah, whom Laban gave unto Rachel his daughter, and these she bore unto Jacob; all the souls were seven. 26 All the souls belonging to Jacob that came into Egypt, that came out of his loins, besides Jacob's sons' wives, all the souls were threescore and six. 27 And the sons of Joseph, who were born to him in Egypt, were two souls; all the souls of the house of Jacob, that came into Egypt, were threescore and ten. 28 And he sent Judah before him unto Joseph, to show the way before him unto Goshen; and they came into the land of Goshen.

Rashi says to do two things of which the first is housing and land and also set up a Beis Medrash for learning. The Pshat seems to be to acquire the best land for living, flocks and herds and where the Bnei Yisrael can live together.

29 And Joseph made ready his chariot, and went up to meet Israel his father, to Goshen; and he presented himself unto him, and fell on his neck, and wept on his neck a good while.

And Joseph harnessed his chariot: He personally harnessed the horses to the chariot to hasten to honor his father. [From Mechilta, Beshallach section 1] and he appeared to him: Joseph presented himself to his father.  And he wept on his neck for a long time: Heb. עוֹד וַיֵב, an expression of profuse weeping, and likewise, “For He will not place additional [guilt] on a man” (Job 34:23), an expression of profusion. He (God) does not place upon him additional accusations over [and above] his sins. Here too he wept greatly and continuously, more than was usual. Jacob, however, neither fell on Joseph’s neck nor kissed him. Our Sages said that he was reciting the Shema. [From Derech Eretz Zuta 1:10, ed. Hager, p. 62; quoted in Bereishith Zuta ; Yichusei Tannaim va’Amoraim , p. 180, Teshuvoth Hageonim, ch. 45]

It can be that Warren Buffet is a simple man and lives in the same house that he moved into 50 years ago and he drives his own car and does not fly in private jets but Yosef was like a king and a king does not harness horses to his chariot but servants do that. He would have to command his servants saying that he wanted personally to honor his father. For making ready for a king is giving orders to hitch up the horses and nothing more.

30 And Israel said unto Joseph: 'Now let me die, since I have seen thy face, that thou art yet alive.'

I will die this time: Its simple meaning is as the Targum renders. [If I should die this time, I would be consoled.] Its Midrashic interpretation is, however: I thought that I would die two deaths, in this world and in the next world, because the Shechinah had left me, and I thought that the Holy One, blessed be He, would hold me responsible for your death. Now that you are still alive, I will die but once. [From Tanchuma Vayigash 9]

Basically it says that now I can die content knowing that I have seen my son and his boys and that I have a portion in the next world.

31 And Joseph said unto his brethren, and unto his father's house: 'I will go up, and tell Pharaoh, and will say unto him: My brethren, and my father's house, who were in the land of Canaan, are come unto me; 32 and the men are shepherds, for they have been keepers of cattle; and they have brought their flocks, and their herds, and all that they have. 33 And it shall come to pass, when Pharaoh shall call you, and shall say: What is your occupation? 34 that ye shall say: Thy servants have been keepers of cattle from our youth even until now, both we, and our fathers; that ye may dwell in the land of Goshen; for every shepherd is an abomination unto the Egyptians.'

Here Yosef has high diplomacy as one of the gods of Egypt was the sheep. (Anybody who saw the movie “Murder on the Nile” will remember rows of sheep statues in the ruins.) Yosef has to walk on eggshells to explain shepherding to come out nice and clean for the Egyptians.

47:1 Then Joseph went in and told Pharaoh, and said: 'My father and my brethren, and their flocks, and their herds, and all that they have, are come out of the land of Canaan; and, behold, they are in the land of Goshen.' 2 And from among his brethren he took five men, and presented them unto Pharaoh. 3 And Pharaoh said unto his brethren: 'What is your occupation?' And they said unto Pharaoh: 'Thy servants are shepherds, both we, and our fathers.' 4 And they said unto Pharaoh: 'To sojourn in the land are we come; for there is no pasture for thy servants' flocks; for the famine is sore in the land of Canaan. Now therefore, we pray thee, let thy servants dwell in the land of Goshen.' 5 And Pharaoh spoke unto Joseph, saying: 'Thy father and thy brethren are come unto thee; 6 the land of Egypt is before thee; in the best of the land make thy father and thy brethren to dwell; in the land of Goshen let them dwell. And if thou know any able men among them, then make them rulers over my cattle.' 7 And Joseph brought in Jacob his father, and set him before Pharaoh. And Jacob blessed Pharaoh. 8 And Pharaoh said unto Jacob: 'How many are the days of the years of thy life?' 9 And Jacob said unto Pharaoh: 'The days of the years of my sojournings are a hundred and thirty years; few and evil have been the days of the years of my life, and they have not attained unto the days of the years of the life of my fathers in the days of their sojournings.' 10 And Jacob blessed Pharaoh, and went out from the presence of Pharaoh. 11 And Joseph placed his father and his brethren, and gave them a possession in the land of Egypt, in the best of the land, in the land of Rameses, as Pharaoh had commanded.

He also gave them prime grazing real estate near a tributary of the Nile where there was plenty of water for growing grass for the cattle and drinking.

12 And Joseph sustained his father, and his brethren, and all his father's household, with bread, according to the want of their little ones. 13 And there was no bread in all the land; for the famine was very sore, so that the land of Egypt and the land of Canaan languished by reason of the famine. 14 And Joseph gathered up all the money that was found in the land of Egypt, and in the land of Canaan, for the corn which they bought; and Joseph brought the money into Pharaoh's house. 15 And when the money was all spent in the land of Egypt, and in the land of Canaan, all the Egyptians came unto Joseph, and said: 'Give us bread; for why should we die in thy presence? for our money faileth.' 16 And Joseph said: 'Give your cattle, and I will give you [bread] for your cattle, if money fail.' 17 And they brought their cattle unto Joseph. And Joseph gave them bread in exchange for the horses, and for the flocks, and for the herds, and for the asses; and he fed them with bread in exchange for all their cattle for that year. 18 And when that year was ended, they came unto him the second year, and said unto him: 'We will not hide from my lord, how that our money is all spent; and the herds of cattle are my lord's; there is nought left in the sight of my lord, but our bodies, and our lands. 19 Wherefore should we die before thine eyes, both we and our land? buy us and our land for bread, and we and our land will be bondmen unto Pharaoh; and give us seed, that we may live, and not die, and that the land be not desolate.' 20 So Joseph bought all the land of Egypt for Pharaoh; for the Egyptians sold every man his field, because the famine was sore upon them; and the land became Pharaoh's. 21 And as for the people, he removed them city by city, from one end of the border of Egypt even to the other end thereof. 22 Only the land of the priests bought he not, for the priests had a portion from Pharaoh, and did eat their portion which Pharaoh gave them; wherefore they sold not their land. 23 Then Joseph said unto the people: 'Behold, I have bought you this day and your land for Pharaoh. Lo, here is seed for you, and ye shall sow the land. 24 And it shall come to pass at the ingatherings, that ye shall give a fifth unto Pharaoh, and four parts shall be your own, for seed of the field, and for your food, and for them of your households, and for food for your little ones.'

This is great economic advice on maximum taxes and how to keep the future economy running unfortunately politicians are not G-D fearing like Yosef and their greed and re-election worries ruin everything.

25 And they said: 'Thou hast saved our lives. Let us find favor in the sight of my lord, and we will be Pharaoh's bondmen.' 26 And Joseph made it a statute concerning the land of Egypt unto this day, that Pharaoh should have the fifth; only the land of the priests alone became not Pharaoh's. 27 And Israel dwelt in the land of Egypt, in the land of Goshen; and they got them possessions therein, and were fruitful, and multiplied exceedingly.

Chabad Mitzvah pulls in more Mitzvos

Rabbi Barak Kokavi Shlita planned to light candles for the soldiers at the Modiin road block outside of Beit Ur. He looked for  jelly doughnuts but the bakery ran out. When he got there he lit candles and noticed that two road block places had no Mezuzos. (According to the Rambam a small area does not need a Mezuzah such as less than about 10 feet by 8 feet). Rabbi Kokavi asked permission to bring Mezuzos. The commander said why not so he went out to collect money for the Mezuzos. When he got to the first Schul, the Gabbai told hm that he had two extra Mezuzos but no covering. The Rabbi was grateful and went about to look for housing and somebody who could drill into metal. He went to a few places ,until he found a friend that had two spare housing covers for the Mezuzos. He started out with one Mitzva and ended up with charity giving, cheering up soldiers again, lighting candles again a Mezuzah on the door of the check post.

The Zaide of Breslov (Grandfather actually elder of the Chassidic Group)

There have been many Chassidic Stories about hidden Tzaddikim who help people and work wonders but usually they are far removed in time from us. I heard 40 years ago stories about a Rabbi in the Ukraine. Zalman Dubnov told me that he once met a Rabbi who was a wonder worker. He had gone to see the Rabbi perhaps to get out of Russia with his mother in the early ‘70’s. He told me the following story. When the Nazis invaded the Ukraine they rounded up Jews right and left. They came to this Rabbi’s house and began guarding it from the Gestapo. There was something that made the regular Nazis surround his house and guard him so.

Dov Leibowitz told me two stories of this Rabbi. Once when he and his friend were walking down the long stairs to the waterfront to dip in the river as a Mikvah, they were confronted by an anti-Semitic youth. They told the Rabbi about it and he said to them that they had nothing to fear and that the youth would not bother them anymore. The next day the youth went to throw stones at them again and he lost his balance. He fellow on this head on the stairs and rolled down until he was dead on the spot. They were never bothered by anybody further.

Dov was so busy helping the Rabbi and listening to him that he neglected his studies at the university. He had attended only one lecture of the professor and the final examination was going to be given soon. Dov went to the Rabbi and he said laughingly, you know the material and have nothing to worry about. When the test came it was based on one question only and one had to pick the question out of slips on the table and write an essay on it. Dov picked the question it was on the one lecture that he had attended.

In his later years the Rabbi made Aliyah and lived in Yerushalayim he was inspired to put together the song – Na, Nach, Nachma, Nachman may Uman. He passed away at the age of 108 and was buried on Har HaMenuchot in a special section.

Lee sent me this. What we tell our children will help them with their faith later on. Well worth the read.

"Our 14-year-old dog Abbey died last month. The day after she passed away my 4-year-old daughter Meredith was crying and talking about how much she missed Abbey. She asked if we could write a letter to God so that when Abbey got to heaven, God would recognize her. I told her that I thought we could so, and she dictated these words:

Dear God,

Will you please take care of my dog? She died yesterday and is with you in heaven. I miss her very much. I am happy that you let me have her as my dog even though she got sick.
I hope you will play with her. She likes to swim and play with balls. I am sending a picture of her so when you see her you will know that she is my dog. I really miss her.

Love, Meredith

We put the letter in an envelope with a picture of Abbey and Meredith and addressed it to God/Heaven. We put our return address on it. Then Meredith pasted several stamps on the front of the envelope because she said it would take lots of stamps to get the letter all the way to heaven. That afternoon she dropped it into the letter box at the post office. A few days later, she asked if God had gotten the letter yet. I told her that I thought He had.

Yesterday, there was a package wrapped in gold paper on our front porch addressed, 'To Meredith' in an unfamiliar hand. Meredith opened it. Inside was a book by Mr. Rogers called, 'When a Pet Dies.' Taped to the inside front cover was the letter we had written to God in its opened envelope. On the opposite page was the picture of Abbey & Meredith and this note:

Dear Meredith,

Abbey arrived safely in heaven. Having the picture was a big help and I recognized her right away.

Abbey isn't sick anymore. Her spirit is here with me just like it stays in your heart. Abbey loved being your dog. Since we don't need our bodies in heaven, I don't have any pockets to keep your picture in so I am sending it back to you in this little book for you to keep and have something to remember Abbey by.

Thank you for the beautiful letter and thank your mother for helping you write it and sending it to me. What a wonderful mother you have. I picked her especially for you. I send my blessings every day and remember that I love you very much. By the way, I'm easy to find. I am wherever there is love.

Love, God

Don't say you're too busy to forward this. Just go ahead and do it"

From Chabad – we usually don’t put on Tephillin until somebody is buried so I don’t know when this was taken:

Unlike Ehud Barak, he ordered his helicopter to return and rescue the wounded soldier:

If something bad happens in the world it must be real devil the Jews or Israelis right?,7340,L-4321777,00.html

Nice new invention from Israel both medical and military applications:

And he attacked the Jewish Marriage laws and is against the Charedim:

Wounded WWII who help the Jews after the Holocaust passes away: Ambassador Oren, Jewish Leaders, Mourn Sen. Inouye: Israel owes Sen. Inouye “an immense debt,” says Ambassador Oren. Agudath Israel, Chabad and others mourn his passing.

From N.F: "Michael Skobac From the recent newsletter of Chosen People Ministries (Christian missionaries who focus on converting Jews):
"One area of need that came to light through this experience is something we find quite exciting. Many of this year’s Shalom Toronto participants were Filipino. They reminded us that many Filipino believers are caregivers and often minister in Jewish homes and seniors’ residences. They are in positions of trust and commonly share their faith boldly, but recognize the need to understand how to share the Gospel with Jewish people in a sensitive and more effective manner. This is something we can help them with! We are praying about presenting a special series of seminars designed specifically for these precious Filipino evangelists."

The following article is not pro or anti-vegetarianism but a commentary on human priorities and this week’s Parsha:

From Robert - A film made last Shmita about 6 years ago end of days predictions- caution this has nothing to do with the Mayan Calendar.! Next Shmita is 5775 (25 Sept 2014 - 13 Sept 2015) I was listening to this but from 1hr and 2 minutes one should watch and the translation from Hebrew to English will follow the movie.

Even extremists recognize a mentally ill person:,7340,L-4317586,00.html

Stealth Jihad from Robin.

Inyanay Diyoma

Poor innocent Molotov Cocktail thrower:,7340,L-4319735,00.html

History is repeating itself unless we do something correct:,7340,L-4319071,00.html

New Public Opinion Polls differ one the Likud 37 here 35 one Shass 11 here 10

Why is it that so many crazed suicidal Americans have to murder innocents before killing themselves?

Hitler was born in Austria under the old Austria-Hungarian Empire so in Hungary this is going on:,7340,L-4320061,00.html

Time to hit very hard before things get worst:

An Egyptian Scud attack on Israel well they don’t need these for Libya or the Sudan?

Sen. elect Ted Cruz meets with Netanyahu and they discuss Chemical Weapons

Another Anti-Semite let’s call a spade a spade” Appointment of Hagel Would Be A "Slap in the Face" for Pro-Israel Americans Hagel's Weak Record Cited by Both Parties

Washington, D.C. (December 14, 2012) --The Republican Jewish Coalition today announced its opposition to the potential appointment of former Senator Chuck Hagel (R-NE) as Secretary of Defense, citing a long list of actions Hagel has taken that raise alarms about his failure to support Israel.
August 2006: Hagel was one of only 12 Senators who refused to write the EU asking them to declare Hezbollah a terrorist organization.
October 2000: Hagel was one of only 4 Senators who refused to sign a Senate letter in support of Israel.
November 2001: Hagel was one of only 11 Senators who refused to sign a letter urging President Bush to continue his policy of not meeting with the Yasir Arafat until the Palestinian leader took steps to end the violence against Israel.
December 2005: Hagel was one of only 27 Senators who refused to sign a letter to President Bush to pressure the Palestinian Authority to ban terrorist groups from participating in Palestinian legislative elections.
June 2004: Hagel refused to sign a letter urging President Bush to highlight Iran's nuclear program at the G-8 summit.
August 2006: Anti-Israel group CAIR wrote in praise of Hagel, "Potential presidential candidates for 2008, like Hillary Clinton, John McCain, Joe Biden and Newt Gingrich, were falling all over themselves to express their support for Israel. The only exception to that rule was Senator Chuck Hagel..."
March 2009: Hagel was one of 10 former and current foreign policy officials who signed a letter urging Pres. Obama to open direct talks with Hamas leaders.
On Iran: Hagel, writing in a May 2006 article for The Financial Times, explicitly ruled out the military option against Iran that Pres. Obama claims to have 'kept on the table.'
RJC Executive Director Matt Brooks said, "Chuck Hagel's statements and actions regarding Israel have raised serious concerns for many Americans who care about Israel. The Jewish community and every American who supports a strong U.S.-Israel relationship have cause for alarm if the President taps Hagel for such an important post.  The appointment of Chuck Hagel would be a slap in the face for every American who is concerned about the safety of Israel."

Where Syria is going: Muslims send to Arab Christians their Xmas greetings,7340,L-4321181,00.html

I am not endorsing this Party but it and Shass are gaining and perhaps Aguda will have 6.

From Rachel A. E. 446 school age children shot in Chicago so far this year with strongest gun laws in country – media. And in Texas and Yehuda & the Shomron where more citizens have guns taking the same amount of population as Chicago – hmmm. Perhaps it is not the guns that kill but the lack of proper education on murder and the lack of self-fence training. Rachel: So let me get this straight.......the people that want gun control so as to better protect children from being killed, voted for partial birth abortion..........REALLY........I think we found where the mental illness is coming that's sick, I don't care who you are

Wednesday morning there was a plane scramble it could be for spy photography they came back soon enough.’s-deadly-agenda-First-chemicals-next-Iskander-9K720 Thursday morning - a Kuwaiti Newspaper reports that yesterday we bombed missiles in Lebanon armed with chemical warheads that were going to Hezballah.

Former Israeli Chief of Staff passes away:,7340,L-4321987,00.html

I don’t work for Time Magazine and perhaps there is a very good reason to make Obama the person of the year. However, I could think this year of more deserving people like Navy Seals or the teachers and principal in Newtown CT who confronted the crazed gunman unarmed.

Now for M. Wolfberg’s Good Shabbos Story “Shoe in”

 Good Shabbos Everyone and a Happy Chanukah Everyone. During Chanukah, we add a special paragraph known as "al ha-nisim" to our daily prayers and to the Bircas HaMazon.
        The paragraph describes all the reasons we have to be thankful to Hashem for the miracles He performed for us during the time of the Chanukah. The paragraph begins thusly: "In the days of Matisyahu ben Yochonan, the Kohain Gadol, the Hashmonian, and his sons… when the evil Greek kingship stood against the nation of Yisroel in an effort to make them forget Your Torah…" On Chanukah we therefore celebrate that we did not forget our Torah. The following amazing true story illustrates how one Jew did not forget his Torah.
        Our story took place a number of years ago in Flatbush, New York. A very private, soft spoken gentleman, who always sat near the back of the shul, told his rav (rabbi) one day that he wanted to donate a Sefer Torah. The gentleman, Mr. Shimshon Blau,(not his real name) said that he had commissioned a sofer (a scribe) to write a Sefer Torah for him and now the job was nearly complete.
        The rav was incredulous. Mr. Blau was not known to have substantial funds and the cost of a new Sefer Torah was more than $30,000. The rav spoke to the sofer and learned that Mr. Blau had indeed been paying small sums of money over the years and recently had made the last payment. The Sefer Torah would be finished in a few days.
        On Shabbos the rav announced the good news to his congregants and everyone went over to Mr. Blau to wish him mazel tov and thank him for his generous gift to the shul. Writing a Sefer Torah is a mitzvah of the highest order; it is a mitzvah, which unfortunately is never fulfilled by most Jews. Plans were made for the Hachnasas Sefer Torah (the dedication of the new Torah scroll.)
        A few weeks later on a bright Sunday afternoon, the community gathered at Mr. Blau's home and escorted him as he carried the Sefer Torah from his home to the street where he walked under a chupah to bring the Torah to the shul. Dancing and singing accompanied those who took turns carrying the Torah, and a special meal was tendered in the shul in honor of the occasion.
        A few days later, a neighbor asked Mr. Blau if there was a particular reason he decided to have the Sefer Torah written. At first he was hesitant to talk about it, but eventually he relented and told his heartbreaking story.
        Shimshon Blau was only 16 years old when the Germans took him, his parents and his sisters from Lodz, their hometown in Poland, to one of the notorious concentration camps. Shortly after their arrival the parents were separated from the children and Shimshon never heard from them again.
        He was placed in a slave labor barracks and suffered humiliation and heartache every day. One night as he was lying in bed, a German soldier came in to check on the prisoners. He walked from bed to bed - and then he saw Shimshon. Suddenly he lunged at Shimshon's feet, grabbed his leather boots and yelled, "Those boots are now mine."
        Shimshon was shocked. The leather boots had been given to him by his parents shortly before the family had been captured by the Germans. Shimshon treasured them because they were his last connection to his beloved parents. He had no pictures, no letters, no memento that he could hold onto in a private moment for strength and rejuvenation. The gift of the boots had become a precious memory. Shimshon cried uncontrollably. Eventually he fell asleep.
        The next morning he went out of his barracks barefoot and found the soldier who had taken his boots. In desperation he ran over to him and begged, "Please give me a pair of shoes. I have nothing to wear on my feet. I'll freeze to death."
        He did not dare to antagonize the soldier by asking for his own boots back. Much to Shimshon's surprise, the soldier told him. "Wait here, I'll be back in five minutes with some shoes for you." Shimshon shuddered in the cold as he waited for the soldier to return. In a few minutes the Nazi came back with a pair of shoes and gave them to the startled but grateful teenager.
        Shimshon went back to his barracks and sat on his bed to put on his new shoes. He looked them over carefully. They were made of wood, but he knew he would have to wear them regardless of what they were made of or how uncomfortable they would be.
        As he was about to put his foot into the shoe, he looked into its instep and gasped. The instep was a piece of parchment from a Sefer Torah! Shimshon froze in terror. How could the Germans be so heartless? How could he step down on the words that Hashem Himself had told Moshe Rabbeinu to write for all generations?
        But he knew he had no choice. There was nothing else to wear on his feet and it was either these shoes or frostbite and death. Hesitant with guilt, he put them on uneasily.
        Now, years later, Shimshon said, "With every step I took, I felt I was trampling on Hashem's Sefer Torah. I promised to myself then that if I ever got out of the camps alive, no matter how rich or poor I was, someday I would have a Sefer Torah written and give back to Hashem the honor that I took from Him by trampling on His Torah. That's why I gave the shul a Sefer Torah."  (Reflections of the Maggid, Rabbi Paysach J. Krohn, p.41)
        We can be inspired by this story to always remember the holy Torah that Hashem has given us, instead of trampling upon it. This is an especially important message on Shabbos Chanukah, when we celebrate our victory over those evil forces who sought to make the Jews forget their Torah
. Good Shabbos Everyone and a Happy Chanukah Everyone.
. M. Wolfberg is sponsored by: In memory of R' Yaakov ben Naftoly, of blessed memory In Memory of Tziporah Yita bas Mordechai Mendel Refuah Shleima to Reb Mordechai Menachem Mendel ben Tziporah Yitta Refuah Shleima to Tsviah bas Bracha Leah

Shabbat Shalom,
Rachamim Pauli