Pearls of Rashi – Vayigash

This week’s Parshah, Vayigash, we find a continuation of the story which we began reading several weeks ago. At the beginning of our Torah portion Yehudah confronts Yosef (who he still believes to be the viceroy of Egypt). Yosef reveals himself to his brothers, who had sold him into slavery 22 years earlier. Despite this, he treats them kindly, and they share an emotional reunion.

The most emotional of all was between Yosef and his younger brother Binyomin. The Torah tells us that when they met[1], Yosef “… fell on his brother Binyomin’s neck and wept, and Binyomin wept on his (Yosef’s) neck.”

Why did each of them cry? We might think that it was because of the long overdue reunion. Rashi explains, however, that there was a deeper reason. Why did Yosef weep on Binyomin’s neck? “For the two sanctuaries which would be in Binyomin’s territory and would ultimately be destroyed.” Why did Binyomin weep on his brother Yosef’s neck? “For the Tabernacle – Mishkan of Shiloh, which was destined to be in Yosef’s territory, but would ultimately be destroyed.”

Each one prophetically saw that a dwelling place for Hashem would be constructed in the other’s territory, yet would be destroyed. Each was crying for the tragic destruction which would take place in his brother’s portion of the Land of Israel.

We need to understand why Yosef wept over the destruction in Binyomin’s territory, and Binyomin cried over the destruction in Yosef’s territory. Why didn’t each cry over the destruction in their own territory. The destruction of G-d’s Palace is indeed something that would bring one to tears!

In order to understand this, we need to understand the idea of crying. Tears have the power to ease the pain of the one who is crying. They can bring him consolation. However, they accomplish absolutely nothing toward correcting the issue which brought him to tears.

Yosef did not cry about the destruction in his territory. He worked at doing something about it! The same is true of Binyomin. However, their great brotherly love for each other brought them to tears for each other’s loss.

The same is true of ourselves. When we see a problem which we can correct, we must do something immediately. Crying and sighing are not enough. However, we must have the greatest sympathy for a problem which concerns a friend, whether or not we can actually help.

I hope that everyone had an illuminating Chanukah, and wish one and all a good Shabbos!

Rabbi Shmuel Mendelsohn

IN LOVING MEMORY OF OUR MOTHER
Mrs. Brocha bas Reb Tzvi Nechemiah Hacohen O.B.M. Cohen
Passed away on 8 Shevat, 5778
May Her Soul be bound in the Eternal Bond of Life
*
DEDICATED BY HER FAMILY
* * *
לעילוי נשמת
מרת ברכה בת ר’ צבי נחמי’ הכהן ע”ה כהן
נפטרה ביום ח ‘שבט, ה’תשע”ח
ת. נ. צ. ב. ה.
*
יוצא לאור ע”י בני משפחתה שיחיו

Adapted from Likkutei Sichos Volume 10, Page 148

[1]. Our Parshah, Bereishis 45:14.

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