Parshat ha Shavuah Verses – Vayigash

Gd is our every thought, every step we take, every mistake and every moment of glory.

לג  וְעַתָּה, יֵשֶׁב-נָא עַבְדְּךָ תַּחַת הַנַּעַר–עֶבֶד, לַאדֹנִי; וְהַנַּעַר, יַעַל עִם-אֶחָיו.

33 Now therefore, let thy servant, I pray thee, abide instead of the lad a bondman to my lord; and let the lad go up with his brethren.

Take me as your slave!

I am ready – hineini

Leave my little brother alone!

Yehuda, the prince of Israel is ready to sell himself for the sake of his brother. This is his moment of glory. He also resorts to anything that Gd brings down upon him.

As unconnected as it sounds, this reminds me of one of the last songs from Eliezer ben Nisan ha’Cohen:

 

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If you want to learn more about the startling “and he wept on his neck”

וַיִּפֹּל עַל-צַוָּארָיו, וַיֵּבְךְּ עַל-צַוָּארָיו, עוֹד. phrase in 46:29, please listen to Alex Israel from Pardes on this parshah.

 

ז  וַיָּבֵא יוֹסֵף אֶת-יַעֲקֹב אָבִיו, וַיַּעֲמִדֵהוּ לִפְנֵי פַרְעֹה; וַיְבָרֶךְ יַעֲקֹב, אֶת-פַּרְעֹה.

7 And Joseph brought in Jacob his father, and set him before Pharaoh. And Jacob blessed Pharaoh.

ח  וַיֹּאמֶר פַּרְעֹה, אֶל-יַעֲקֹב:  כַּמָּה, יְמֵי שְׁנֵי חַיֶּיךָ.

8 And Pharaoh said unto Jacob: ‘How many are the days of the years of thy life?’

ט  וַיֹּאמֶר יַעֲקֹב, אֶל-פַּרְעֹה, יְמֵי שְׁנֵי מְגוּרַי, שְׁלֹשִׁים וּמְאַת שָׁנָה:  מְעַט וְרָעִים, הָיוּ יְמֵי שְׁנֵי חַיַּי, וְלֹא הִשִּׂיגוּ אֶת-יְמֵי שְׁנֵי חַיֵּי אֲבֹתַי, בִּימֵי מְגוּרֵיהֶם.

9 And Jacob said unto Pharaoh: ‘The days of the years of my sojournings are a hundred and thirty years; few and evil have been the days of the years of my life, and they have not attained unto the days of the years of the life of my fathers in the days of their sojournings.’

י  וַיְבָרֶךְ יַעֲקֹב, אֶת-פַּרְעֹה; וַיֵּצֵא, מִלִּפְנֵי פַרְעֹה.

10 And Jacob blessed Pharaoh, and went out from the presence of Pharaoh.

Here’s a man that lived for 130 years!

No one here lives that long, not even pharaoh-gods.

Let him bless me to live that long!

Jacob reinforces Pharaoh’s awe by saying that his old age of 130 years so far was small compared with the longevity of his ancestors. Truly this family was divinely blessed! After all, 110 was considered an extremely blessed old age for Egyptians (longevity later ascribed to Joseph, Genesis 50:26).

The king is standing before me

He thinks that he is a god.

Let me bless him with years so that he sees my son

And remembers the True Judge

His descendants will anyway forget

 

כח  וַיְחִי יַעֲקֹב בְּאֶרֶץ מִצְרַיִם, שְׁבַע עֶשְׂרֵה שָׁנָה; וַיְהִי יְמֵי-יַעֲקֹב, שְׁנֵי חַיָּיו–שֶׁבַע שָׁנִים, וְאַרְבָּעִים וּמְאַת שָׁנָה.

28 And Jacob lived in the land of Egypt seventeen years; so the days of Jacob, the years of his life, were a hundred forty and seven years.

כט  וַיִּקְרְבוּ יְמֵי-יִשְׂרָאֵל, לָמוּת, וַיִּקְרָא לִבְנוֹ לְיוֹסֵף וַיֹּאמֶר לוֹ אִם-נָא מָצָאתִי חֵן בְּעֵינֶיךָ, שִׂים-נָא יָדְךָ תַּחַת יְרֵכִי; וְעָשִׂיתָ עִמָּדִי חֶסֶד וֶאֱמֶת, אַל-נָא תִקְבְּרֵנִי בְּמִצְרָיִם.

29 And the time drew near that Israel must die; and he called his son Joseph, and said unto him: ‘If now I have found favour in thy sight, put, I pray thee, thy hand under my thigh, and deal kindly and truly with me; bury me not, I pray thee, in Egypt.

ל  וְשָׁכַבְתִּי, עִם-אֲבֹתַי, וּנְשָׂאתַנִי מִמִּצְרַיִם, וּקְבַרְתַּנִי בִּקְבֻרָתָם; וַיֹּאמַר, אָנֹכִי אֶעֱשֶׂה כִדְבָרֶךָ.

30 But when I sleep with my fathers, thou shalt carry me out of Egypt, and bury me in their burying-place.’ And he said: ‘I will do as thou hast said.’

לא  וַיֹּאמֶר, הִשָּׁבְעָה לִי–וַיִּשָּׁבַע, לוֹ; וַיִּשְׁתַּחוּ יִשְׂרָאֵל, עַל-רֹאשׁ הַמִּטָּה.

31 And he said: ‘Swear unto me.’ And he swore unto him. And Israel bowed down upon the bed’s head.

 

Do not leave me here. This land is cursed. They bow down to crocodiles

Bring me home! To my own land, graced by Gd.

My body will be closer to my love, Rachel, my soul is longing for her

 

 

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