Parshat Vayigash


(Haftara: Ezekiel 37:15-28)

  1. [44:18] “And Yehudah came close to him…”  There is a midrash which says that Yehudah was shouting very loudly.  In the plain text, Yehudah does not seem to be shouting.  What is the nature of this speech that would make it seem so aggressive that Yehudah is shouting loudly?
  1. [46:1] “…and he offered sacrifices to the God of his father, Yitzchak.” Why did Ya’akov offer sacrifices to the God of his father Yitzchak. Why doesn’t the pasuk say that he offered sacrifices to his own God?
  1. [46:3] “…’don’t be afraid of going down to Egypt, because I will make you into a great nation there.'”  Can a nation become truly great (not just economically), or can a person become truly great without living through hardship?
  1. [ 47:20] “So Yosef bought all the land of Egypt for Pharoah…” In exchange for food, the Egyptians gave Pharoah their cattle, their land and themselves. Pharoah owned almost everything and almost everyone.  Could such a thing have happened with King Saul or King David or King Solomon?  In what way was the relationship of a Jewish king toward his people different from the relationship of the Egyptian king toward his people?
  1. [Haftara: Yechezkel 37:16] “…’take one stick and write upon it for Yehudah…'” The prophecy from God says that there will no longer be a division between the people of Israel, but all of Israel will be united. What purpose is served by using the image of 2 sticks which are brought together?  It seems that it would be clearer to simply say that Israel will no longer be divided.


From the depths of its soul the Jewish people will call the same call that was issued by the Patriarch. Out of its awareness of light and happiness, out of its compassion for every afflicted soul, for every  confused creature, for the forms of national, social and moral life that  are harmful and proceed in darkness…it will awaken and call out, “Here is the light of the living God calling to me from the depths of my being, here is the light of eternal freedom for all of  existence…”

–R. Avraham Y. H. Kuk, 1865-1935, Lithuania and Israel.

This study page is dedicated to the memory of Gad Eliahu ben David and Kochava–Eli Zucker

And  to the memory of Sarah Bella bat Yitzchak Kummer, Chaim Yosef Yechiel ben Eliyahu Kummer and Eliyahu and Margaret Kummer

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