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A LESSON FROM JOSEPH

by Joseph Cox    
Torah from Dixie Staff Writer    

In this week's Torah portion, Joseph is finally reunited with his brothers. There are many reasons why he took so long to reunite with his brothers. Among these are theories that he was trying to reform his brothers or bring the prophecy of his dreams to fulfillment.

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In this week's Torah portion, Joseph is finally reunited with his brothers. There are many reasons why he took so long to reunite with his brothers. Among these are theories that he was trying to reform his brothers or bring the prophecy of his dreams to fulfillment. One other theory is the theory that Joseph himself advances. Joseph says, "be not distressed, nor reproach yourselves for having sold me here, for it was to be a provider that G-d sent me ahead of you... Thus, G-d has sent me ahead of you to insure your survival in the land and to sustain you for a momentous deliverance." Joseph says that G-d exiled him so that he could provide for his family. And Joseph stayed in exile, voluntarily, until the brother's proved they were ready to have him back. He stayed in exile until Judah offers himself up as a hostage in the place of Benjamin.

In recent history we have a tremendous corollary. We have a man who was exiled by his brothers, who left his land and stayed from it, and who is returning now only because his nation is showing it is ready for him. Today we don't face a famine, we face terrorism on a global scale. And today we are pulling our old skeletons -- those same ones we wish we would never see again -- out of our collective closet. Why? Because we need the food that they have been preparing for the last 20 years. We need the harsh medicine and cold realism of Ariel Sharon and the hard-core anti-terrorists.

The worst part of it all is that, all along, we suspected that their nightmares might be reality.

G-d willing the anti-terrorists will be able to provide for us in these troubling times. Nonetheless, today we face the same risk we faced those many years ago. With the famine over and the Jewish people safely residing in Goshen -- they were already well on the road to slavery. Today, when the terrorism has been defeated and we are living safely in our world, we must make sure that our enthusiasm for the medicine of the anti-terrorists not lead to slavery. We must make sure that our decision to leave our land of liberty, our Zion, even for a short time, not take our nation and make it a nation of slaves.

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Joseph Cox, a close friend of the Torah from Dixie family, is the founder of givedaily.org. He writes a weekly column tying current events into the Torah portion.

You are invited to read more Parshat Vayigash articles.

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