Special needs adoption from a Jewish perspective.

Special needs adoption from a Jewish perspective.

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Torah Connection - Va-yigash

Last week was our 8th anniversary, which means that this chapter was the same one read the day before our wedding.   It was a great chapter for a wedding!  It is about the re-unification of Joseph and his brothers, the joining and reconciliation of the various branches of the family.  Joseph and his father Jacob are both shocked and overjoyed that the other is alive.

Of course, there is a cloud inside this silver lining:  Under the pretext of taking care of his extended family, Joseph brings the entire clan to Egypt, setting in motion the events that will lead to their enslavement.  Looking full circle, this enslavement will be the crucible that will forge the "extended family" into a people destined to become a "light onto the nations" for several millenia.

So which is it?  Is the enslavement a negative, unintended consequence of Joseph's good intentions, or is it a necessary but unpleasant preparation for the fulfillment of Israel's destiny?  Or both?  In modern terms, the Shoah (Holocaust) was in part exacerbated by the fact that European Jews were so well integrated into their communities that they could not believe the evil that was about to be perpetrated upon them, and too few sought to escape before it was too late. However, it was out of the ashes of the Shoah that motivated both Jewish groups and Western governments to support the establishment of the State of Israel, the fulfillment of 2000 years of Jewish prayers.

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