Thursday, December 24, 2015

Rise Above It

In this week's parsha, Vayechi, Yosef bound his brothers with an oath, that when Hashem "raises you out of this," meaning, takes their descendants out of Egypt, they will take his bones, to be buried in Israel. The Torah then ends the book of Bereishis, Genesis, with this verse: "And Joseph died at the age of a hundred and ten years, and he was embalmed and placed in a coffin in Egypt."

Why was it the responsibility of all the children of Israel to take Yosef's bones, why not only his own children? Why is Yosef focused on at the end of the parsha? When the Torah chooses to finish a book with a verse, there is a significant message in that verse. What message is there for us in this verse?

The Jewish people are about to begin a most difficult and horrific exile in Egypt. Hashem gives them the psychological tools necessary to deal with it. These are lessons for all future exiles, including the present one.

First, we need to know that there is an end and a purpose to this galus, exile, Hashem will not only take us out of galus, but he will "raise us out of this." We will be raised to a higher level, we will see and enjoy the fruits of all the work, toil and suffering. Knowing this will help us overcome the difficulties of galus.

Second, we need to be like Yosef. Yosef becomes the ruler of Egypt. He rises above and rules galus even during the time of galus. We too, like Yosef, can rise above and rule our present galus. Like Yosef we are in it, but it doesn't rule us.

Third, Yosef stays with us until we leave galus. This is to be a reminder and strengthen us to rise above. Every Jew was obligated to carry Yosef, when things are difficult, think of Yosef, realize that you to can be like him and overcome and rise above any challenges that come our way.

It seems my family and I were chosen to endure open and difficult challenges, which we struggle with every day. It is hard to rise above, but there is nothing more gratifying then overcoming a challenge. Even though the challenge still exists, and the hardships endure, we try to find ways to rise above them. How enjoyable is it that I can make another Jew happy and I am grateful to Hashem that even in my present state I have found ways to do it.

Still, this galus has dragged on long enough, may Hashem remove the suffering and challenges and give us revealed good now.


  1. Yes indeed, Rabbi Yitzi, you and your words make a difference.Thank you!

  2. Yitzi, yes, may Hashem finally remove the pain and the challenges, so that you can continue and increase 100-fold the tremendous inspiration and hafatzos hamaayanos that you do.

    with love
    Moshe Rapoport