Parashat Vayigash: United as One

December 20, 2023
BBYO Weekly Parsha


Read more from this author →

This week’s Parsha is Vayigash. This Parsha mainly focuses on Joseph and his sons. 

Judah approaches Joseph, imploring for Benjamin's release and willingly offering himself as a slave to the Egyptian ruler in Benjamin's place. Witnessing the profound loyalty among his brothers, Joseph discloses his true identity, declaring, "I am Joseph. Is our father still alive?"

Overwhelmed by shame and remorse, the brothers receive comfort from Joseph, who reassures them, stating, "It was not you who sent me here, but G-d. Everything has been orchestrated from above to save us and the entire region from famine."

Rushing back to Canaan with the news, the brothers bring Jacob, his sons, and their families, to Egypt. Totaling seventy souls. After 22 years, Jacob is joyously reunited with his long-lost son. En route to Egypt, Jacob receives a divine promise: "Fear not to go down to Egypt; for I will there make of you a great nation. I will go down with you into Egypt, and I will also surely bring you up again."

During the famine, Joseph became wealthy by selling food and seeds. Pharaoh granted Jacob's family the fertile land of Goshen to settle, and the children of Israel thrived in the land of Egypt.

Just as Judah approached Joseph, Jews of all backgrounds must show how we can be one, united people. Our own actions need to be the proof that Jews can live together. When Jews criticize Jews of other denominations, or Jews debate politics, attitudes toward Israel, or any other issues, we need to do it in a way that shows respect and love for each other.

We must maintain our own integrity as Judahs or Josephs, but we must also “approach” “Vayigash” seek unity and partnership in each other’s lives.

Wishing you all a great Shabbat!

Shabbat Shalom! 

-GAR’s 30th Regional Sh’lichim Ryder & Ariella

Read commentary on this week's Parsha from BBYO teens around the world.

All views expressed on content written for The Shofar represent the opinions and thoughts of the individual authors. The author biography represents the author at the time in which they were in BBYO.

Explore More Stories

Get The Shofar blasted to your inbox