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The Torah Portion – Wk 11 Vayigash – He Approached

By December 17, 2020January 8th, 2021No Comments

Previous Portion Wk 10 Miketz < Torah Portion Main Page > Next Portion Wk 12 Vayechi

Joseph’s Reunion With Jacob

Vayigash
He approached
ויגש

In this week’s Torah portion we are looking at Genesis 44:18–47:27

Judah approaches Joseph to plead for the release of Benjamin, offering himself as a slave to the Egyptian ruler in Benjamin’s stead. Upon witnessing his brothers’ loyalty to one another, Joseph reveals his identity to them. “I am Joseph,” he declares. “Is my father still alive?”

The brothers are overcome by shame and remorse, but Joseph comforts them. “It was not you who sent me here,” he says to them, “but G‑d. It has all been ordained from Above to save us, and the entire region, from famine.”

The brothers rush back to Canaan with the news. Jacob comes to Egypt with his sons and their families—seventy souls in all—and is reunited with his beloved son after 22 years. On his way to Egypt he receives the divine promise: “Fear not to go down to Egypt; for I will there make of you a great nation. I will go down with you into Egypt, and I will also surely bring you up again.”

Joseph gathers the wealth of Egypt by selling food and seed during the famine. Pharaoh gives Jacob’s family the fertile county of Goshen to settle, and the children of Israel prosper in their Egyptian exile.

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Jacob and Joseph Reunite After 22 Years
By Yoram Raanan

Joseph Reunites
Darius Gilmont

Joseph Recognised by His Brothers
Léon Pierre Urbain Bourgeois 1863

Vayigash Midrash

Kelly Clancy

DAY 1

Offering Sacrifices in the Chosen Sanctuary

Positive 84
Jewish
Temple

“And there, you shall do all that I command you…”—Deuteronomy 12:14.

We are commanded to only offer sacrifices in the Holy Temple.

Bringing Pledged Sacrifices from Outside Israel

Positive 85
Jewish
Temple

“Only the holy things which you have, and your vows, you shall take and go to the place”—Deuteronomy 12:26.

We are commanded to bring all sacrifices – Sin, Burnt, Guilt and Peace Offerings – to the Holy Temple, though the person and the animal are outside of Israel, and despite the long journey involved.

Slaughtering Sacrifices outside the Holy Temple

Negative 90
Jewish
Temple

“…who slaughters an ox, a lamb, or a goat inside the camp, or who slaughters outside the camp, but does not bring it to the entrance of the Tent of Meeting to offer up as a sacrifice to G‑d . . . this shall be counted for that man as blood; he has shed blood, and that man shall be cut off”—Leviticus 17:3.

It is forbidden to slaughter outside the Holy Temple any animal designated for sacrifice.

DAY 2

Offering Sacrifices outside the Holy Temple

Negative 89
Jewish
Temple

“Take heed for yourself lest you offer your burnt-offerings in every place that you may see”—Deuteronomy 12:13.

We are forbidden from offering sacrifices in any location other than the Holy Temple.

The Daily Offering

Positive 39
Jewish
Temple

“Two [lambs] each day for a continuous burnt offering”—Numbers 28:3.

We are commanded to offer every day in the Holy Temple the Tamid sacrifice, consisting of two lambs [one offered in the morning and the second in the afternoon].

The Perpetual Fire

Positive 29
Jewish
Temple

“Fire shall be kept burning continuously upon the altar; it shall not be extinguished”—Leviticus 6:6.

We are commanded to cause fire to burn on the Temple’s altar every day. This is accomplished through placing new wood on the altar every morning and afternoon. Though a fire would miraculously descend from the heavens to consume the sacrifices, we are commanded to introduce our own fire too.

Extinguishing the Fire on the Altar

Negative 81
Jewish
Temple

“Fire shall be kept burning continuously upon the altar; it shall not be extinguished”—Leviticus 6:6.

It is forbidden to extinguish the fire on the Holy Temple’s altar—even to extinguish one coal from the fire.

Removing the Ashes from the Altar

Negative 30
Jewish
Temple

“And the priest shall don his linen tunic, and linen trousers . . . and he shall lift the ashes”—Leviticus 6:3.

The kohanim (priests) are commanded to remove the ash from upon the Temple’s altar every day.

DAY 3

Burning the Incense

Positive 28
Jewish
Priest
Temple

“And Aaron shall burn upon [the altar] sweet incense every morning”—Exodus 30:7.

The kohanim (priests) are commanded to offer incense on the Golden Altar in the Temple Sanctuary twice daily—morning and afternoon.

Kindling the Temple Menorah

Positive 25
Jewish
Priest
Temple

“In the Tent of Meeting, outside the dividing curtain that is in front of the testimony, Aaron and his sons shall set up [the lights of the menorah]”—Exodus 27:21.

The kohanim (priests) are commanded to regularly [i.e. daily] kindle the Menorah in the Holy Temple.

The High Priest’s Daily Offering

Positive 40
Jewish
High Priest
Temple

“This is the offering of Aaron and his sons, which they shall offer to G‑d”—Leviticus 6:13.

The high priest is commanded to offer the Chavitin meal offering twice daily—morning and afternoon.

The Additional Shabbat Offering

Positive 41
Jewish
Priest
Temple

“And on the Sabbath day, two lambs”—Numbers 28:9.

On the Shabbat day, we are commanded to bring a special offering in the Holy Temple, in addition to the regular daily sacrifices.

The Showbread

Positive 27
Jewish
Priest
Temple

“And you shall put showbread upon the table, for Me, always”—Exodus 25:30.

We are commanded to place lechem hapanim [known as “showbread”] before G‑d [on the Table in the Temple’s sanctuary]. New loaves of bread are placed on the Table every Shabbat, together with frankincense. The priests then eat the previous week’s showbread.

The Additional Rosh Chodesh Offering

Positive 42
Jewish
Priest
Temple

“And on the beginnings of your months…”—Numbers 28:11.

On Rosh Chodesh, the first day of the Jewish month, we are commanded to bring a special offering in the Holy Temple, in addition to the regular daily sacrifices.

DAY 4

The Additional Passover Offering

Positive 43
Jewish
Temple

“For seven days you shall offer a fire-offering to G‑d…”—Leviticus 23:8.

On the seven days of Passover, we are commanded to bring a special offering in the Holy Temple, in addition to the regular daily sacrifices.

First Harvest Offering

Positive 44
Jewish
Temple

“And you shall bring an omer of the first cuttings of your harvest”—Leviticus 23:10.

On the sixteenth day of Nissan [the second day of Passover], we are commanded to bring a barley offering in the Holy Temple, accompanied by a lamb (in its first year of life). This offering is known as the Minchat Bikurim [more popularly identified as the Omer Offering].

The Additional Shavuot Offering

Positive 45
Jewish
Temple

“On the day of the first fruits, when you offer up a new meal offering to G‑d . . . you shall bring a burnt offering for a pleasant fragrance”—Numbers 28:26-27.

On the fiftieth day after the offering of the omer sacrifice on the sixteenth of Nissan, we are commanded to bring a special offering in addition [to the regular daily sacrifices] in the Holy Temple—the Atzeret [Shavuot] Offering.

The Two Loaves of Shavuot

Positive 46
Jewish
Priest
Temple

“You shall bring from your dwellings two wave-loaves of two tenth measures”—Leviticus 23:17.

On the holiday of Atzeret [Shavuot], we are commanded to bring two loaves of leavened bread in the Holy Temple, together with an accompanying animal Peace Offering (in addition to the holiday’s additional offering).

These two loaves as well as the sacrifices are eaten by the kohanim (priests).

The Additional Rosh Hashanah Offering

Positive 47
Jewish
Priest
Temple

“And on the first day of the seventh month . . . you shall offer a burnt offering for a pleasant fragrance for G‑d”—Numbers 29:1-2.

On the first of Tishrei, Rosh Hashanah, we are commanded to bring a special offering in the Holy Temple, in addition [to the regular daily sacrifices].

The Additional Yom Kippur Offering

Positive 48
Jewish
Temple

“And on the tenth day of the seventh month . . . you shall offer a burnt offering for a pleasant fragrance for G‑d”—Numbers 29:7-8.

On the tenth of Tishrei [Yom Kippur], we are commanded to bring a special offering in the Holy Temple, in addition [to the regular daily sacrifices].

The Additional Sukkot Offerings

Positive 50
Jewish
Temple

“You shall offer a burnt offering for a pleasant fragrance for G‑d”—Numbers 29:12-13.

On the [seven] days of the holiday of Sukkot, we are commanded to bring a special offering in the Holy Temple, in addition [to the regular daily sacrifices].

The Additional Shemini Atzeret Offering

Positive 51
Jewish
Temple

On the eight day of the holiday of Sukkot, Shemini Atzeret, we are commanded to bring a special offering in the Holy Temple, in addition [to the regular daily sacrifices].

DAY 5

Counting the Omer

Positive 161
Jewish
Men

“And you shall count for yourselves from the day following the [first day of Passover]”—Leviticus 23:15.

We are commanded to count the omer. Each individual is commanded to count 49 days [from the day when the Omer Offering was brought in the Temple, on the second day of Passover], counting both the days and weeks that have elapsed.

Women are exempt from this mitzvah.

Eating the Flesh of an Animal that was Disqualified as a Sacrifice

Positive 140
Jewish
Temple

“You shall not eat any abominable [food]”—Deuteronomy 14:3.

It is forbidden to eat of the flesh of an animal that was designated as a sacrifice and then became disqualified under certain conditions. Such as, if the animal was intentionally blemished so as to invalidate it as a sacrifice, or if after it was slaughtered (in the Temple) it became disqualified for offering on the altar.

DAY 6

Rejected Sacrificial Meat (“Pigul”)

Negative 132
Jewish
Temple

“…shall not eat of them, because they are holy”—Exodus 29:33.

It is forbidden to eat the flesh of a sacrifice that was “damaged” through an invalid thought on the part of the priest who was offering it—i.e. if the priest had in mind that the sacrifice would be consumed after the time limit for eating the sacrifice has elapsed, or if he had in mind to offer the parts of the sacrifice designated to be burnt on the altar after the proper time to do so.

DAY 7

Leaving Sacrificial Meat Uneaten

Negative 120
Jewish
Temple

“You shall leave none of it until the morning”—Leviticus 22:30.

It is forbidden to leave over sacrificial meat past the deadline when it may be eaten.

Greg Cumming

Author Greg Cumming

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