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Summary of The Weekly Torah Reading:

Parshas Vayigash

Note: The Shabbos Torah Reading is divided into 7 sections. Each section is called an Aliya [literally: Go up] since for each Aliya, one person "goes up" to make a bracha [blessing] on the Torah Reading.

1st Aliya: Yehuda confronts Yoseph in the aftermath of the stolen chalice. Yehuda reviews the past events, starting from Yoseph's suspicious interest in their family.

2nd Aliya: Yehuda's final plea, that he would remain a slave instead of Binyamin, triggers Yoseph to reveal himself. Yoseph mitigates his brother's shock and obvious shame by explaining to them the hidden hand of Hashem in all that had occurred.

3rd Aliya: Yoseph instructs his brothers to bring Yakov and the rest of the family to Egypt. Pharaoh, having heard the news of the brother's arrival, confirms Yoseph's offer.

4th Aliya: Yoseph sends provisions and transportation for Yakov's entire household. Yakov is told of Yoseph being, "alive and well and ruling the land of Egypt".

5th Aliya: Yakov wishes to see Yoseph, but first asks Hashem for instructions. Hashem reassures Yakov that the time of slavery and nationhood has begun, and that he must go to Mitzrayim. The 70 direct descendants of Yakov are counted.

6th Aliya: Yakov and Yoseph reunite after 22 years. Five of the brothers and Yakov are presented to Pharaoh. Yakov blesses Pharaoh. The year is 2238.

7th Aliya: The remainder of the Parsha is a flashback to the two years preceding Yakov's arrival. Yoseph's master plan for reconfiguring Egyptian society is detailed. Yoseph follows the broad outline of his advice to Pharaoh regarding the administration of the 7 years of plenty. The famine must have been of enormous intensity for Yoseph to accomplish his plan in just two years. Although the people "sell" themselves to Pharaoh in order to get food, Yoseph's plan maintains their sense of dignity and independence.

Parsha Summary by Rabbi Aron Tendler



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