Rabbi's Message

  • January 06, 2017


    The Mei HaShiloach, R Mordechai Yosef Leiner of Ishbitz, points out that in the beginning of Parshas Vayigash we gain important insight into the personality of Yehuda from his confrontation with his brother, Yosef.  As is noted by many commentaries, in this episode Yehuda demonstrates a profound sense of responsibility for his family in his passionate and powerful defense of Binyamin, a responsibility that would ultimately evolve into the halachic and philosophical concept known as arvus, brotherhood.  But this is not what the Ishbitzer is focused on; he finds yet another facet of Yehuda that is also destined to become an integral part of the collective psyche of Bnei Yisrael that would serve us well throughout the millennia. 

    The Mei Shiloach observes that at the end of Mikeitz, we find a tremendous pessimism amongst the brothers, a profound sense of despair over what has occurred.  Yehuda and company are ready to give up and allow themselves to be taken as slaves.  However, at the beginning of Vayigash, Yehuda is ready to battle Yosef, any lingering despondency seems to have vanished!  This, the Ishbitzer explains, is one of the most important traits of a Jew: the ability to banish despair and to seize hope in its place.  

    In the merit of our faith, and refusal to despair, may the struggles of the present soon be replaced by the pure rejoicing of the near future.

    Have a great Shabbos.