Rabbi Hillel Skolnik’s Torah Spark for Parashat Vayigash 5778 – Weekend of December 23, 2017

Rabbi Hillel Skolnik’s Torah Spark for Parashat Vayigash 5778 – Weekend of December 23, 2017

This Shabbat we read from Parashat Vayigash in which Joseph finally reconciles with his brothers and is reunited with his father.  While the moment when father and son finally embrace after so many years apart is touching, it is hard to ignore the fact that this moment could have come much sooner had Joseph not tested his brothers and forced them to jump through hoops before giving them food.  That is not to say that Joseph didn’t have good reason to give his brothers a hard time, but it was very much within his power to immediately help them and reveal himself to them.  Instead, Joseph chose the hard way which delayed his reunion with his father and risked the fact that Jacob might have died before having the chance to see his long lost son.  It reminds us all, as we are reminded far too often, that life is precious and short.  When we have the chance to see a loved one, particularly one whom we have not seen in a long time, one who is either sick or advanced in years, we should make that reunion take place as quickly as possible and not let other issues stand in the way.

Shabbat Shalom,

Rabbi Hillel Skolnik