Shabbat Parashat Vayechi 5772
Parashat Hashavuah: Seeing the Approaching Storm on a Clear DayHarav Shaul Yisraeli – based on Siach Shaul, pp. 142-143
Chazal point out that our parasha begins (Bereishit 47:28) without the traditional break between sections in the Torah, a phenomenon called stuma (closed). Rashi cites the reason: “Since Yaakov died, the eyes and heart of
Without the textual break, we are to read our parasha as a direct continuation of the end of Parashat Vayigash: “
On the other hand, there is no mention of the continuation of Yosef’s career. What happened to the relationship with the king who had said about him: “There is no one as wise and smart as you” (ibid. 41:39)? In the one recorded interaction, through an intermediary, Yosef had to plea to fulfill his promise of burying his father in his homeland. We see hints of Yosef’s influence waning. After the Hebrew made his great contributions, he was less the subject of adoration, and he and his people were more the subject of jealousy, peaking with the statement that started the enslavement: “Let us deal wisely with them lest they multiply and … join our enemies” (Shemot 1:10).
How interesting it is that specifically Yosef, even when he was at the height of his success, was the one who sensed in advance the stormy situation ahead and was able to warn his brothers. He coached them to not become too entrenched in Egyptian life, but to stay in a separate region. Both Yaakov and Yosef gave instructions to the family to remember the time that they will return home to the Land of their forefathers and to bury their respective remains there, in the case of Yosef, at the time of national deliverance. It was Yosef, the great believer, whose eyes were not blinded by success, who passed on the code to deliverance: the words “pakod yifkod,” which would be used by the eventual savior.
This has been the challenging necessity in each exile and time period, whether in
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Rabbi Shlomo Merzel o.b.m,