Pearls of Rashi – Parshas Vayigash

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

The most emotional reunion 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 which Hashem would ultimately destroy.” Why did Binyomin weep on his brother Yosef’s neck? “For the Tabernacle – Mishkan of Shiloh, which he prophetically saw would be in Yosef’s territory, and Hashem would ultimately destroy.”

Each one prophetically saw that a dwelling place for Hashem would be constructed in the other’s territory, both of which Hashem would destroy. 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 devastation in Yosef’s region. Why didn’t each cry over the loss in their portion? The destruction of G-d’s Palace is indeed something that would bring one to tears!

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 console him. 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. It is not enough to cry and sigh. However, we must sympathize with an issue that concerns a friend, whether or not we can help.

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

Rabbi Shmuel Mendelsohn

Adapted from Likkutei Sichos Volume 10, Page 148

Mr. Sholom Moshe Hacohen
ben Reb Shlomo Meir Hacohen ע”ה Cohen
Passed away Shabbos Parshas Beshalach, 13 Shevat, 5779
May His Soul be bound in the Eternal Bond of Life
* * *
לעילוי נשמת
ר’ שלום משה הכהן בן ר’ שלמה מאיר הכהן ע”ה כהן
נפטר ש”ק פ’ בשלח, י”ג שבט, ה’תשע”ט
ת. נ. צ. ב. ה.
יו”ל ע”י חתנו ובתו שיחיו
הרה”ת ר’ שמואל ורבקה שי’ מענדלסאהן

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

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