Summary of Parshat Vayigash
Parshat Vayigash (Genesis 44:18-47:27) begins with Judah's impassioned plea to the powerful Egyptian ruler (Joseph still in disguise) for Benjamin's fate, claiming that Jacob would surely die from sorrow if he lost Benjamin. Judah offers to remain in Egypt as a slave in his younger brother's stead. Joseph, unable to restrain himself any longer, reveals his identity to his stunned brothers and forgives them for selling him into slavery so many years before, stating that sending him to Egypt was a part of the Divine plan to prepare for their survival from the famine. Joseph then sends them back to the land of Israel, laden with gifts, to bring Jacob and their families down to Egypt where they will live in the province of Goshen. Before Jacob leaves home, Hashem appears to him in a "vision of the night," reassuring him that He will be with them and that they will eventually return to the land of Israel as a great nation. After twenty-two years of separation, Jacob is finally reunited with his beloved son Joseph, and they are brought to meet Pharaoh. The portion concludes by describing how Joseph uses his vast power to amass nearly all of the wealth of Egypt for Pharaoh's treasury.
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