Shabbat Parashat Vayigash Happy and Healthy 2021

Dear Friends,

I take this opportunity to wish you and your loved ones a very happy and healthy 2021!

2020 has been a trying year for all of us. As we experience difficulties ourselves, we can relate to the difficult times that we read about in our weekly Torah portion of Vayigash. We can relate to the difficulties that Jacob experienced when, for twenty two years, he thought that he had lost his son, Joseph. We can relate to the difficulties that Joseph dealt with when he was expelled from his family of origin and was forced to live as a servant, to serve time in prison, and then to work his way up to new status, to new family, and to new power. We are sensitized to difficulties in life.

But, we can also learn resilience from our parsha.

The Torah tells us that God assured Jacob that he God would still be with him when Jacob leaves the Land of Israel and goes to Joseph in Egypt. Our Sages tell us that God comforted Jacob with the knowledge that just as Joseph rose up out of the depths of the pit and of prison, to the heights of his new stature, so too Jacob’s descent into Egypt will result in the flourishing of a nation that will be a “kingdom of priests and a holy community.”

What is the message?

Our paths in life may be fraught with difficulties, but God is always with us. Torah is our guide and our compass in life. Hope is the vehicle that keeps us moving forward and helps us to envision path toward the ultimate redemption.

Wishing you and yours a 2021 filled with many blessings and with good health.

Shabbat Shalom!

Rabbi Gilah Dror