Practical Judaism – Vayigash

“Then Joseph said to his brothers, “Come forward to me.” And when they came forward, he said, “I am your brother Joseph, he whom you sold into Egypt.”
-Genesis 45:4

Welcome to the new season of the ‘Raising Holy Sparks’ podcast. This year, we will be focusing on Jewish concepts and will be experimenting with ways to take them out of the theoretical and turn them into the practical.

Since we began our journey a few months ago with the beginning of “The Beginning” – the Book of Genesis – we have looked for inspiration from these ancient texts to create practical and contemporary applications of Jewish wisdom into our everyday lives.

We’ve tried to create opportunities for growth as a result of changing our mindset, attitude, and even our behavior.

This week, I would like for us to try something different. The goal and kavanah (intentional action) that I would like to offer forward is for us NOT to change at all.

In this week’s Torah Portion of Vayigash, the story of Joseph comes full circle. It starts off with him being hated by his brothers for his over-active imagination and wild dreams. But now, it is these very dreams and his ability to interpret dreams that allows for him to rise through the ranks of the Egyptian imperial court.

When his brothers come to Egypt from the Land of Canaan to escape famine, they discover their brother Joseph is the viceroy, or governer-general, of Egypt.

He forgives his brothers for their past hatred. However, he makes a point to include a special remark when giving his message of forgiveness.

He says “I am your brother Joseph, the same one whom you sold into slavery.” The very same brother that you hated so much and threw into a ditch and sold off into Egyptian slavery… well, that same kid stands before you today. I am unchanged.

All of your jealousy and hatred did not bend me nor change me at who I am at my core – a dreamer.

The quality that others perceive, or even we ourselves perceive, to be our greatest weakness is actually connected to our greatest strength.

The qualities that make us different from others might cause the occasional miscommunication and maybe even some disagreement, but in the end, it is this very same quality that will help us stand out and shine bright.

This week, let’s NOT change a thing about ourselves. We are all created in the image of God and each one of us has something special to offer in this life – even if others are not always willing to accept it. So, keep being you and I’ll keep being me – that’s our mission in this life.

See you next time! ✌

Thanks for listening and looking forward to being on this journey through the books of the Torah with you!

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