Iliya Jaffee - Dvar Torah
Jacob is a man with 12 sons,but he had a favourite son called Joseph. Joseph was his favourite because he loved Joseph’s mom, Rachel, more. Jacob loved him so much he gave him a beautiful technicolored dream coat. The other sons were jealous so like any other normal family, they sold Joseph into slavery in Egypt and covered his coat with blood and told Jacob that Joseph was killed. In Egypt, The Pharoh came to learn about Joseph’s ability to interpret dreams and he called for him to explain what the weird dreams he had been having were about . josephs interpretation was so accurate that the pharaoh promoted him to vizier. There was a famine in canaan so jacob sent all his sons except benjamin to get food from egypt. the brothers were sent to joseph and didn’t recognise him but joseph recognised the brothers and what followed was a back and forth of tasks and messages to jacob that eventually led to joseph revealing his identity to his brothers. joseph was finally reunited with his father and all past actions were forgiven,my torah portion vayechi ends with jacob dying and giving his sons blessings.
There were many themes i could talk about for my torah portion but i decided to talk about family and forgiveness. a lot of my portion is about family dynamics and relationships,joseph came from a very big family and family relationships require a lot of work. joseph not only forgave his brothers for selling him to slavery but he also helped them. jacob on the other hand in his blessings chose to punish some of his children however, that does not necessarily mean he did not also forgive them for the bad things they had done. As an example, if i broke my Mom’s laptop, i would be punished for that but at the same time, she would forgive me for the mistake…..adleast I hope so. I think joseph’s decision to forgive his brothers would of been different if they crossed paths sooner because he wouldn’t of been as calm and understanding of the situation. i think he forgave them because he reailised that him being in egypt was a positive for him and his family because he could give them land,water and food during the famine.
He realised that his pain and suffering was for the good of him and his family.
my personal opinion on forgiving is that there’s no point in holding a grudge against someone the thing they did is already over and there’s no point in holding onto it. i’ve realised this because i have experienced it. when i try not to forgive someone, i find myself being very irritated and i get nothing out of it - all it does is affect and hurt me, not the other person. the last past months studying for my bar mitzvah have been very interesting and i have learnt a lot about jewish culture,I have also learnt a lot from the time that i have spent with rabbi greg and my parents studying my portion. the story of jacob and joseph at the end of vayechi had valuable lessons about god and how we refer to god,home and what home means to someone,death and how we remember those who have died. I will always remember this special time.