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Daily Aliya for Vayigash, Shishi (6th Aliya)

Aliya Summary: Jacob arrived in Egypt, to the province of Goshen that Pharaoh had allotted his family. Joseph went there to greet his father. Joseph prepared his family for meeting Pharaoh, and instructed his brothers to tell Pharaoh that they are shepherds, who only wish to tend to their flocks in Goshen until the famine ends. Indeed the brothers followed this script, and Pharaoh acceded to their request. Jacob was then brought before Pharaoh, and Jacob blessed him.

When at long last they met, Yaakov and Yosef reacted very differently. Yosef fell on his father’s neck (hugged?) and wept for a long time, while Yaakov recited Shema without crying, and then expressed the joy of seeing Yosef’s face again. Both were obviously happy, but while Yosef’s joy was raw, Yaakov’s was more acute and directed. He was able to pinpoint what he was most happy about – seeing on Yosef’s face that he was still alive. What about Yosef’s face showed him that he was still alive (more alive than he already knew Yosef was)? Or Hachaim explains that Yaakov was concerned that all the time in Egypt might have made Yosef change his ways away from Judaism, but when he saw his face (and eyes), Yaakov could tell that Yosef hadn’t changed at all, and was still as righteous as he was 22 years ago. Faces tell a lot more than we think…