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Vayigash. Tears of Reunion

Do you get emotional? Do you ever cry? What situations make you cry?

Our discussion this week will probe the emotional finale of the Joseph story, after all the hatred, the intrigue, manipulation, Joseph reveals his identity to his brothers, and Joseph and his beloved father Jacob are reunited in tears.

Bereshit describes the scene in which they meet in the following way:

“Joseph prepared his chariot and went up to meet Israel his father in Goshen. He appeared before him and fell on his neck and wept on his neck a good while.”

כט וַיֶּאְסֹר יוֹסֵף מֶרְכַּבְתּוֹ, וַיַּעַל לִקְרַאת-יִשְׂרָאֵל אָבִיו גֹּשְׁנָה; וַיֵּרָא אֵלָיו, וַיִּפֹּל עַל-צַוָּארָיו, וַיֵּבְךְּ עַל-צַוָּארָיו, עוֹד.

The text is written in the singular: “He wept”, in other words, only one person cried! Who was it? Jacob or Joseph? In other family reunions in Bereshit, we find that BOTH parties cry - Yaakov and Esav (23:4), Joseph and Benjamin (45:14) - but in this scene, curiously, only one person cried.

So you might want to discuss: