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Joseph – The Torah Approach to Human Reconstruction

Ch. 11: Parashat vaYigash (44:18-47:27) The Torah Approach to Human Reconstruction

by Yitzḥaq Ḥayut-Man & Tirẓah Arzi

The Relationship between the Judaic and the alienated brothers over the generations – from Joseph to Messiah son of Joseph

RE-GENESIS NOW Project chapter 11

Parashat vaYigash (44:18-47:27)

The Torah Approach to Human Reconstruction


The Name of the Parashah and its Meaning

Yoseph as psycho-dramatist – Yoseph’s planning of the Encounter

The Appearance of Yehudah

Seniority of Yoseph or of Yehudah?

The Qabbalah Interpretation of the Encounter between Yoseph and Yehudah

The 15 passages, ascent and descent in the questions

The Choice of Yoseph

Yoseph’s Revelation to his Brothers

Yoseph as privy to the Divine Plan

Yoseph’s Invitation to his Family to descend to Egypt

The Settlement of the Children of Yisra’el in Egypt

The Choreography of the meeting among the brothers

Yoesph’s Restructuring of the Egyptian Economy

Appendices (not yet included): Appendix A: Messiah Son of Yoseph and Messiah Son of David (the Jew) – and Son of Levi Appendic B: King Herod as Messiah ben Yoseph (and as ante/anti Messiah) Appendix C: Yoseph and Yeshu’ạ/Jesus Appendix D: Yoseph and Egypt’s Contribution to the House of the God of Yisra’el Appendix E: Determining the axis for the New Jerusalem Pattern


The Name of the Parashah and its Meaning

The key word for this Parashah (Torah weekly portion) is va’Yigash (ויגש), a verb related to Gishah (גישה) – which can hav two meanings: on the one hand approaching towards meeting, on the other hand hitgosheshut – a violent struggle, a brawl. It is thus like a wrestling match, that at its peak the two brothers stand face to face, and they are not only brothers but leaders that everything depends on their face-to-face dealing. The manner of approach – Gishah – will determine the course of the next chapter. The beginning of the parashah is “vayigash elav Yehudah – And Yehudah came near to him”, and its ending is the settlement of the children of Yisra’el in the land of Goshen (the land of approach – Gishah – to Egypt) and its contents is tlove. he encounter – Mifgash – between the brothers, the scriptural rectification for the sin of Qayin (Cain) and Hevel (Abel), and the gradual completion of the process of reconciliation and brotherly.

Forms of the root N.G.S (נגש) appear three times in parashat vaYigash (the additional two times come in the most dramatic verse: “And Yoseph said to his brothers, Come near to me, I pray you – Geshu na elay – and they came near – vaYigashu – . And he said, I am Yoseph your brother…” (45:4) and the name of the Land of Goshen appears nine times. Together, these are a Dozen of Gishot – approaches – that surround and contain the action of the Mifgash – encounter. This is a hint to the Twelve Tribes that would camp around the Tabernacle under four flags/standards (Degalim) – flags of the camps of Yehudah, Ephraim (namely Yoseph), Re’uven and Dan (see below about the New Jerusalem Pattern). The flag of the Camp of Yehudah would be the leader in the journeys in the desert. Yehudah becomes the leader of the course of Yisra’el due to “vayigash Yehudah”.

The Gematria value of the word “vaYigash” is 319, which equals 11 x 29. Yehudah represents the eleven brothers (including Binyamin), whereas 29 represents the lunar cycle (about 29.5 days), namely – there is here the encounter of 11 moons of the year with another moon, the twelve – an astrological symbolism.

Through the encounter (Mifgash) Yehudah shows his seniority by demonstrating the model of “Yisra’el” better than his father and his brothers: he approaches straight to (nigash Yashar) to the issue, confesses – modeh – in all that happened, and does not follow the course of “Ya’ạqov” – the crooked ways.

In the continuation of the story, in Parashat Shemot there would appear another word connected with the same word-root – Nogsim – taskmasters: “And Par’ọh the same day commanded the taskmasters (Nogsim) of the people, and their officers, saying, You shall no more give the people straw to make brick, as heretofore” (Exodus 5:6-7). The Egyptian Nogsim (plural of Noges) were in charge of (police) officers from the Children of Yisra’el and have beaten the latter when their subordinates the usual quantity of bricks.[1] This would be a certain repetition of the position of Yoseph and Yehuda in Parashat vaYigash, where Yoseph, the apparent Egyptian, deputy for Par’ọh, stands opposite Yehudah, who has just taken upon himself to be a leader and officer for the Children of Yissra’el. In this meaning of Noges there is a consequence of the slavery that Yoseph caused upon all of Egypt.

In our studies of the Book of Genesis, we have so far surveyed five instances of brothers’ confrontations. In each case there were different situations, and the outcomes of one encounter served as moral for the next one: 1) in the confrontation of Qayin (Cain) and Hevel (Abel) there was murder. 2) In the encounter of the Sons of No’aḥ the friction was averted by territorial separation to different continents, with the punishment by slavery to one that breaches the division. 3) The likely dangerous encounter in the childhood of the half-brothers was prevented ahead by the mother of the younger brother, who forced the common father to expel his firstborn to exile and maturation in the desert. But she also brought to the assignment of the tombs of the patriarchs as a common sacred place. 4) the encounter of Ya’ạqov and Ẹsav, in which first the younger brother who had stolen the seniority was expelled, after twenty years in exile he matured and reconciled with his brother for a moment, but this did not lead to their dwelling together permanently (not for two thousand years anyway).

The case of Yoseph and his brothers is the fifth case in this series. Yoseph and his brothers have split by the pit (it may be claimed that Yoseph was expelled to the desert and was saved specifically by the Ishma’elites – as if Yishma’el was sent to the desert to enable the later saving of Yoseph). Now in Parashat va’Yigash, Yehudah rectified under his leadership the sin of the brothers, the sale to slavery of their brother Yoseph – who was the son of the preferred mother. He offered himself as a substitute sacrifice for the enslaving of Binyamin, the brother of Yoseph from the same mother. By the merit of this act the brothers have arrived to the potential for the ideal ……………..


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