Parsha from Rav Alex and Brendan

Joseph … cried out, “Have everyone withdraw from me!” There was no one else about when Joseph made himself known to his brothers. (45:1-2)

Why did Joseph need everyone to leave? Why did he want this moment to be private one between himself and his brothers?

“He could not bear that Egyptians would stand beside him and hear his brothers being embarrassed when he would make himself known to them.” (Rashi)

This week, our “Parsha Discussion” is about the severity with which Judaism views embarrassment and shaming. CLICK on here to read more.

Brendan Stern: Vayigash – Day and Night

Hashem appears to Yaakov in a nocturnal vision as he is about to descent to Egypt (Bereishit 46:2). Neither Avraham nor Yitzchak received visions from Hashem at nighttime, yet Yaakov received these visions twice – when he descends to Egypt in this weeks parsha and when he descends to live with Lavan in parshat Vayetzei – both when he is about to leave Eretz Yisrael for lengthy periods of time. Why does he experience this special unique vision when he is on his way to places of spiritual descent?

Chazal (Berachot 26b) teach us that Maariv was established both by Yaakov and paralleling the burning of the limbs and fats from the sacrifices which were allowed to continue at night if the process had not yet completed during the daytime. As long as the sacrifices were brought during the daytime, the burning process could continue into the night if necessary.

Says the Meshech Chochmah, this was the departing message Hashem was providing Yaakov: just as the sacrifices could continue to burn at nighttime as long as the process began during the daytime, so too as Yaakov was descending to the darkness of chutz la’aretz Hashem would remain with him as long as he kept the flame of the “day” alive. If his time in chutz la’aretz was an extension of his time in Eretz Yisrael then Hashem would remain by his side throughout the exile.

We are all involved with the wider outside world in some capacity or another. These “nighttime” components of our lives come with obvious associated spiritual challenges. However, as long as we anchor ourselves in the spiritual “daytime” activities of our lives – the times of prayer, learning, chessed etc – as the qualitative core of our identities, we can still bring Hashem’s presence into our everyday actions!


Shabbat in at 4.11, out at 5.27.


Daf Yomi – Hour before Shabbat goes out at the Katamon Shteiblech.

Nitzanim shul – Daf Yomi celebratory oneg at 8pm.

Pre-Shacharit shiurim at ELC, Shir Chadash in Talbiya and Eretz Chemdah at 8am.

Ramban – Shiur at 4.40.

Nitzanim – Shiur at 4.40.

8:00 am – “Yaakov, Yehuda, and Yosef: Tefilla, Korban, and Mashiach ” with Rabbi Azarya Berzon
8:45 am – Shacharit
10:30 am – Children’s Service with Ronnit Goldfain

Kiddush this week is sponsored by Rabbi Shalom & Mrs. Lynne Myers,
le’ilui nishmat Lynne’s father, Shabtai Ephraim ben Zalman

4:15 pm- Mincha
Followed by Seudat Shlishit

Comments are closed.