11 Tevet 5781

And Yehudah Approached

“And he drew near or then he drew near”

This parashah should be about Yehudah, after all, it begins with Vayigash eilaiv Yehudah    יגש אליו יהודה  –  Yehudah draws near to Joseph.

In a way, it teaches us to VAYIGASH – draw near – to Adonai Elohim.

We are not perfect; we are humans, with errors, problems, imperfections, mistakes, with so many issues, the same as Yehudah; there is no difference at all. Yehudah takes a chance and approaches Joseph to whom he had wronged in the past, in order to intercede for his brother Benjamin. His example teaches us to correct our actions and act, to seek forgiveness and intercede for others.

What did Yehudah find in Joseph?  He found forgiveness, love, appreciation and care. This parashah could also be about the deeds of Joseph or revealing himself to his brothers; for me personally, this following verse should be the core of the parashah: “Now do not be distressed or reproach yourselves because you sold me hither; it was to save life that God sent me ahead of you.” Bereshit 45; 5

Let’s think for a minute: What is your present situation? Have you been in a position of dismay before? Did it turn into a blessing? How does Adonai Elohim turn a time of suffering into joy for others?

Bereshit 45:7 states: “God has sent me ahead of you to ensure your survival on earth, and to save your lives in an extraordinary deliverance.”

This is the second time Joseph repeated that. 

Are you suffering right now in the middle of this pandemic? Are you in a time of dismay?

Can you see the light at the end of the tunnel?  Or is it just darkness? 

Whatever had happened in Joseph’s life, all the suffering, tears, pain, headaches – they all had a purpose for us today…to ensure your survival and to save your lives.

Can you see a purpose in your calamity? While we are going through the pain, it’s natural to say a big Naaaaah!,

Joseph was thrown into a pit, by his own brothers, sold as a slave, accused of wrongdoing while he was in Egypt, thrown in jail, forgotten.

Do you think he was whistling or singing a happy song while he was in the pit or being taken by strangers?

Bereshit 45:8 “So, it was not you who sent me here, but God”.

For a third time Joseph acknowledged that it was Adonai Elohim who was behind all that happened in his life.

Let’s pause for a minute…

Have you considered what is the purpose of your life?

Every parashah we read and study, God gives to us for a reason, for a purpose in our life. Joseph repeated three times that it was God who ordained his life, his path. 

Yehudah draws near Joseph, Joseph draws near G-d and you and I should draw near God as well.

Many are following some else: The Catholic virgin Mary, the Christian Son of God, Buddhism – the Buddha, Hinduism – Brahma and many others – a Moshiach or a rabbi, but the Torah teaches us to draw near to God, to the Bore Olam, the Creator because He is the reason that you and I are here.