Rabbi's Message

  • December 18, 2015


    The following Dvar Torah by Rabbi Edward Davis of the Young Israel of Hollywood, Florida, highlights the far reaching historical imprint of Maaseh Avos Siman la'Banim. Hope you enjoy. Have a great Shabbos.

    "Then Yehudah came near to him and said ..." (44:18)

    Yehudah's intervention for Binyamin ultimately proved effective. He guaranteed his return to his father Yaakov. More than that, he was ready to offer his life for his younger brother. There are some who say that the word Jew, Yude, Zhid, Yehudi, etc. all stem essentially from this sense of supreme responsibility of one for another–even at the risk of your own life. It was Yehudah's name which was given to the entire people. It is also not incidental that this heightened sense of responsibility also binds one Jew to another in the realm of mitzvah fulfillment. 

    The very sense of brotherly love continued throughout the ages. When the land was divided among the tribes, Yehudah and Binyamin were also neighbors. The Beit HaMikdash was built in an area which combined a piece of each one's territory; thus, they shared again, this time the very Temple. And when the Kingdom was split after Solomon's death, Binyamin and Yehudah, these two tribes, stayed together. Binyamin did not join the ten tribes who were led by the tribe of Ephraim, descendant of Yosef, despite the fact that these two –Ephraim and Binyamin – were both descendants of our Matriarch, Rachel.