Photo Credit: Jewish Press

We read in this week’s Torah portion, Vayigash, about the great reunion between Joseph the ruler of the Egyptian empire, and his entire family.

This family reunion took place after years of suffering on all sides. Jacob, Joseph’s father, who understood that Joseph was dead all these years, finally gets to see his son in all his glory. All the brothers realize their great mistake of selling Joseph, when he was just 17, and giving their father such grief, for so many years.


G-d in his infinite wisdom sets the stage for each and every one of us. Hashem can see the end. Hashem makes things happen so that the end result will be good for everyone all around, even when it seems so dark and hopeless.

We all go through our share of hard moments in life, and during the darkness we can hardly see any light. We try to hold onto the thought, that there is light at the end of the tunnel. However we do not know how long the tunnel lasts and how difficult it will be to reach the light at the other end.

When Joseph was thrown into the pit no one could have imagined the glory he would receive years later, and the great benefit he would be to all mankind. As his father Jacob was crying and mourning over Joseph for all those years, he didn’t know what heights of greatness his son Joseph would reach.

We read about this sad, and happy ending story, year after year as we begin the Torah portions each time, and yet never do we get tired or less excited by the reunion of Joseph and his family. What is it about the same story told year in and year out, that makes us wait to hear this happy ending?

During the hardships in our lives, it’s very hard to see the goodness that will come at the end. During a terrible crisis, it’s not very comforting to hear that, in the end everything will be okay. We need strength during our difficulties to get though whatever we are experiencing.

The well-known story of Joseph and his family, is very important because it gives us strength. There are many commentaries and midrashim told regarding this episode of Joseph and his journey to greatness.

We also know that everything written down in the Torah is a message for all generations of all times; from the moment any story or situation takes place, until this very day.

How many thousands of Jews sitting in prison throughout time, have taken great strength from Joseph? And how many Jews sitting in the darkness alone, far away from their loved ones, have comforted themselves by remembering how Jacob and Joseph met in the end after so many years of such a painful separation.

The holy Torah is obviously not just a story book, to pass the time. The specific stories that were told and written down are meant to mold and direct who we are as individuals, and as Jews, who are part of a nation with a message and a purpose for all times.

When something challenging is going on in our lives, we can either crumble or rise. Having such great leaders in our nation as Jacob and Joseph, helps each one of us, suffering at some point in our life, connect to any one of our great leaders in the Torah. From them we receive strength and encouragement not to give up; great motivation, that this too shall pass; great inspiration that indeed there is light at the end of the tunnel.

Therefore, every time we reach this portion of the Torah in the book of Genesis, we can hardly wait to hear once more of the great reunion between Joseph and his family.

All of us have great challenges and devastations in life, and we can hardly wait for them to end. By reading of Jacob and Joseph who finally met and “lived happily ever after,” it gives us hope and strength that we too shall see happiness and great moments of salvation. We too will come out of our darkness, to a great light. We too will unite once more with our loved ones who might be far away.

May Hashem unite all the families of Israel in happiness and in health, just as he did for Jacob and his family. And may all of Israel see the light at the end of the tunnel, in the private realm and in the public one as well, please G-d, soon.


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Michal can be reached at [email protected]