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Reb Lisa's Message

December, 20


This week’s Parasha, Vayigash, teaches about resilience and patience. We also learn about the power of the passage of time. For reference, we are in the middle of the dramatic resolution of the story of Joseph and his brothers – a story that began two parshiyot ago. We follow Joseph through his many ups and downs that ultimately separates him from his family after his brothers sell him into slavery and convince his father that he is dead. This leads Joseph on a course that eventually sets him up for success when Pharaoh appoints him viceroy. And somewhat miraculously, we are stunned with the surprise in this week’s parasha–the gift of an unexpected reconciliation with his brothers, 23 years later and reuniting with the father who thought Joseph was dead. Resiliency. Patience. The power of the passage of time. 


When it comes down to it, we just don’t know how things are going to turn out. The Joseph story delivers this universal truth with vivid examples. What seems like a thrill, something positive (the gift of a fancy coat), creates an atmosphere of competition and jealousy. Heinous acts of revenge (dumping Joseph into a pit and selling him into slavery) lead Joseph on a path of reinvention and prosperity. What seems an unbridgeable distance between brothers is connected, the unforgivable is forgiven. And ultimately we learn that no amount of time is too long for healing. Resiliency. Patience. The power of the passage of time.


Let’s bring this famous story from Torah into the ups and downs, the twists and turns of our own lives. How does it all connect to what’s happening in the world right now, on all the different stages where dramas are playing out with an almost unbearable intensity Where are the divides that seem unbridgeable? What wounds are we carrying that we can’t forgive? Do we need more time? Have we given up hope? Resiliency. Patience. The power of the passage of time. 


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