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Torah Commentary Blog

Parashat Vayigash (December 7, 2013)
by Sherry Nehmer


“So I say to him, ‘Listen, Pharaoh, there’s going to be another famine, but I know how to get us through it, as long as you do exactly what I say.’ And the poor guy — well, he’s just standing there with his mouth open, so I say, ‘Have I ever steered you wrong? Have I?’ Well, of course he listens to me, because I’ve never steered him wrong. Didn’t I save his kingdom time after time? Didn’t I tell him to sell short and make a profit on livestock? He should be kissing the hem of my coat of many colors. Of course the Pharaoh’s gonna do what I say! And wait, here’s the best part. I—”

“Seriously, Joseph, could we please just have a nice dinner without you yakking about how brilliant you are?”

“Yeah. Give it a rest, dreamer. We all know you’re a genius—”


IMAGINE, IF YOU WILL, the reunion of Joseph and his father after so many years apart. Joseph — the son long thought dead — and his elderly father, whose grief for his youngest and most beloved son has only recently been assuaged by the birth of another son to his favorite wife. What must that meeting have been like?

Well, perhaps not as imagined above, although we’ve all attended family gatherings where one or two people dominate the conversation or misbehave in some way. But putting that aside, the chapter Vayigash chronicles the reunion of Joseph with his brothers, and later with his father, Jacob, and it’s hard to imagine a reunion more poignant.

Continue reading Sherry’s commentary »

Thanksgiving at the Jacobsons
As usual, Sherry Nehmer captures the essence of this story with sensitivity
and humor. I particularly love the brotherly rivalry. It took me a minute
to translate "Jacobsons" into "Jacob's sons," but I got
it. Must be getting slow in my old age. Bettijane Eisenpreis

bjeis - December 2nd

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