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Thursday, February 2, 2023 - 11 Shevat 5783
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The Weekly Aliyot of the Parsha
In last week's parsha, Miketz, Yehuda told his father Yakov that he would take his brother Binyamin down to Egypt. Yehuda gave his personal guarantee that he would bring Binyamin back to his father alive. At the very end of that parsha, in Egypt, Yosef claimed his brother Binyamin to be his servant after framing him for robbery.
  • This week's parsha and the first aliyah begins with the brother Yehuda stepping forward to speak to Yosef appealing to him to release Binyamin.

  • In the second aliyah Yehuda continues to speak to Yosef about Binyamin. He says that if Binyamin doesn't come back with the brothers, their father Yakov will die. Yehuda offers that Yosef take himself (Yehuda) as a servant instead of Binyamin. At this point Yosef can't restrain himself any longer and finally reveals himself to his brothers with the words "Ani Yosef" (I am Yosef!). He tells them to not be upset about selling him down to Egypt, because as a result, he is in a position to sustain his family during these years of famine.

  • In the third aliyah Yosef directs his brothers to go up to their father in Canaan, and bring him down to live in the land of Goshen in Egypt and be sustained by Yosef. Then Yosef finally gets around to embracing and crying with all his brothers, especially Binyamin.

  • In the fourth aliyah Yosef sends his brothers away in wagons carrying the good things of Egypt. They go up to their father and tell him that Yosef is still alive and ruler of Egypt. At first he doesn't believe them, but then he sees the wagons, and believes Yosef is alive. This is because the word for wagons in Hebrew is agala, which is similar to the word egla, as in egla arufa. Egla arufa refers to the parsha about the Kohanim breaking the heifer's neck, which was the section of Torah Yosef and Yakov were studying together 22 years earlier when Yosef disappeared. In this way Yosef gave Yakov a sign that he was still alive.

  • In the fifth aliyah, Yakov packs up all his family and belongings and heads down to Egypt to see his beloved son Yosef. Along the way, in Beersheva, Yakov is given assurance by G-d that he will be made into a great nation in Egypt, and that G-d will surely bring him back up from there (Rashi says this refers to the fact that Yakov will be buried in Israel).

  • In the sixth aliyah Yakov sends his son Yehuda out before the rest of the family to the land of Goshen in Egypt to set up a yeshiva there. Yosef hastily goes to meet his father. They hadn't seen each other for 22 years, and Yakov had thought that Yosef was dead. The Torah says that when they met here they cried for a long time. Yosef prepares his family to meet Pharaoh, which they do, and Pharaoh invites them to live in Goshen.

  • The seventh aliyah describes the process of the Egyptian people coming to Yosef during the famine to buy food. At first they give their money, but when their money runs out, they pay with their cattle. Next, they give their land. Finally, they sell themselves into servitude for food. Meanwhile, in the land of Goshen, the Torah says that Yakov's family was fruitful and multiplied exceedingly.


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