Daily Aliya for Vayigash, Sheni (2nd Aliya)
Aliya Summary: Judah continued: “When [Jacob] sees that the boy is gone, he will die.” He explained to Joseph that he, Judah, had taken personal responsibility that Benjamin would return unharmed to Canaan. And as such, he asked to remain as a slave in stead of Benjamin. At that point, Joseph could not restrain himself any longer. He asked all the Egyptians present to leave the room, and he revealed his identity to his brothers: “I am Joseph! Is my father still alive?!” He then reassured them, and asked them not to be upset about selling him into slavery: “For it was to preserve life that G‑d sent me before you. For . . . another five years there will be neither plowing nor harvest, and G‑d sent me before you to ensure your survival in the land…”
“For how can I go up to my father, and the youth is not with me?” The straight forward meaning: Yehuda says, how can I face my father Yaakov without Binyamin with me. The Chassidic school of thought sees another meaning to Yehuda’s statement: How can we go up to face G-d (after 120 years) without our youth? Does our behavior when we are/were young serve us well or embarrass us as we get older? It is easy to dismiss one’s youth with a wave and a “you know how kids are”, but it isn’t that simple. Our youth need direction more than anyone else, they need to be “with” us, not on their own, “being who they are”.
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