The Urgent Need for Change – Parashat Vayigash

December 22, 2017 at 2:11 AM , , ,

“…Hurry and go up to my father, and say to him, “so said your son, Yosef: G-d has made me master over all of Egypt. Come down to me, do not tarry….” – Bereishit 45:9

״….מהרו ועלו אל אבי ואמרתם אליו כה אמר בנך יוסף שמני אלוקים לאדון לכל מצרים רדה אלי אל תעמוד…״ – בראשית מה, ט

Twenty-two years passed from when Yosef and Yaakov were separated until Yaakov went down to Egypt and was reunited with him. Rashi (37:34) notes that these twenty-two years that Yaakov mourned for his son corresponded to the twenty-two years that he did not fulfill the mitzvah of honoring his own father and mother, when he was living with Lavan and then as he tarried on his journey home.

Parashat Vayigash

Now, Yosef urged his brothers to hurriedly return to Yaakov and promptly bring him down to Egypt. “Come down to me, do not tarry!” he insisted. Knowing that Yaakov’s punishment had run its course, Yosef did not want him to suffer for even one extra moment!

From here we learn an important lesson about discipline. On occasion, we encounter situations that require a strict or even punitive response, what our Sages call “distancing with the left hand (Sotah 47a).” One must be extremely careful, however, to use such measures only to the extent that they are entirely unavoidable.  The moment that such discipline is not absolutely necessary, we must urgently and hurriedly revert being kind and welcoming – “bringing close with the right hand.”

 

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—Likkutei Sichos, vol. 15, p. 390

 

 

 

 

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