- Yehuda Pevzner
This week, we read the last portion of the first book of the Torah, Sefer Bereishit (Genesis). The first Sefer begins with the creation of the world and ends off with the meaning of living in this beautiful world.
The Torah portion “Vayechi” discusses the passing of Joseph and how he was buried in Egypt. Soon after, the beginning of the exile commences and the Jews are drafted into slavery. Why would the Torah end off such a positive book with such a sad ending? What happened to, “And they lived happily ever after”?
All beginnings are hard. However, when you’re not alone, then even when you’re going through hardships and rough times, you have the power to keep strong. You can go through the ordeals and emerge victorious!
The Parsha ends off with Joseph’s passing to remind us that Joseph was still in Egypt! He remained to give strength to his brethren. Joseph being in Egypt gave the Jews the power to overcome the exile. He stayed with them until the exodus so they would know that they are not alone. When the Jews left Egypt, they took along the bones of Joseph until they reached Israel, where he was reburied. Thus, together, they were redeemed.
The same is true with us. We are not alone in exile. G-d descended with us and will arise with us when we go up to Israel, with the coming of Moshiach! G-d’s presence gives us the energy to overcome this hard time! Together, we will march onto redemption!
Candle lighting time: 4:12 PM