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A strange gift - Vayigash

Thursday, 24 December, 2020 - 5:45 am

Για να το διαβάσετε στα Ελληνικά, κάντε κλικ εδώ

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How do you choose a gift for a loved one? Getting the perfect gift for them is not easy at all. We need to think about something that the receiver will enjoy and utilize. There is no point in giving expensive chocolates to someone who has diabetes…

In this week’s Parasha Vayigash, Joseph, now viceroy of Egypt, reveals his identity to his brothers. After 22 years of painful separation, with Jacob thinking that his son is dead, Joseph tells his brother to hurry to his father, give him the good news and bring him to Egypt to be reunited. Joseph sends with the brothers gifts for Jacob. Our Sages have different opinions as to the nature of these gifts. Some say that he sent aged wine, others say that he sent split peas. Why would Joseph send such strange gifts?

Joseph did not simply send foods, he wanted to transmit a message.

Joseph knew that the news that he is still alive would not bring only joy to his father, because he would suddenly understand what his children, Jacob’s brothers, had done to him in the past. Even if he did not discover all the details, just hearing the news would awaken the pain. Joseph was trying to ease the anguish of his father by sending the split peas. These were a traditional Egyptian dish, which was made of crushed beans. It was symbolic: the tremendous agony that they had to go through was finally what brought Joseph to the position of viceroy, giving him the possibility to feed his family in the years of famine. The difficulties turned into something good.

In addition, during the 22 years that Jacob mourned for Joseph, none of them drank wine, which gladdens the heart of man. Joseph sent his father aged wine to give him the message that he never lost his hope to be reunited. This is why he kept away the wine for the joyous day of their reunion.

Our lives are not always easy. Let us internalize the messages of the split peas and the aged wine. Let us remember that the difficulties are for our good and let us not lose hope! Those difficulties will pass.

Very soon, G-d will bring us Mashiach and pain and troubles will disappear from the world.

Shabbat Shalom,

Hanna

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