November 26, 2007
Below is a summary of AIPAC's Synagogue Initiative Sermon Tidbits for Vayeishev. A quick reading of the summary below should indicate if this tidbit interests you. If it does then you can click on the link that follows for the full two page edition of Sermon Tidbits.
Sweet Dreams – Vayis'n'u oto "And they hated him" (Genesis 37:4) Ramban explains that Yosef's brothers hatred stems from a combination of factors: Yaakov's favoritism and Yosef's dreams and behavior. Since the beginning of her modern history, the State of Israel has had a dream. After two thousand years in exile, the dream to return to our homeland was realized. In the past sixty years, living in peace has become the dream. No more suicide bombings. No more Katyushas and Kassams. No more talk of driving the Jews into the sea or wiping the Jewish state off the map. Making the dream of peace a reality will take a great deal of hard work and commitment. It is clear that such a commitment exists on the Israeli side. We pray that the events of this week provide evidence of similar intentions and abilities on the part of the PA and Arab states. Click here to view the complete Tidbits for Vayeishev.
Taking Action – Vayeired Yehudah mei'eit echav "And Yehudah went down from his brothers" (Genesis 38:1) Rashi explains that Yehudah's decision to move on and settle down elsewhere is because of what the brothers did to Yosef. After seeing their father's grief, the brothers removed Yehudah as leader because it was his idea to sell their little brother. Despite the fact that the other brothers wanted to kill Yosef, they say to Yehudah, "You said to sell him. Had you said to return him, we would have listened." The truth is that we never know the impact we can have on a situation until we try. Similarly, it is not too late for us to take action to stop Iran from developing nuclear weapons. We don't want to be like Yehudah – wondering what we might have done differently and what pain our actions might have spared. Click here to view the complete Tidbits for Vayeishev.
In the Open – V'chisinu et damo "And covering his blood" (Genesis 37:26) Obviously, the brothers' behavior is so horrible that they would have to conceal it or face punishment. The Kotzker Rebbe taught of this verse, "when you have to cover up your behavior, it is a sign that you are doing something wrong." (HaRebbe MeKotzk 94). There is no shortage of deception in the politics of the Middle East – Iran alone spent twenty years lying to the international community to cover up its illegal nuclear program. But Hamas has turned covering up into an art form with its ongoing attempt to build Gaza into a terror stronghold. Think of the benefit to the Palestinian people if the money, creativity, and effort used to smuggle in these weapons were redirected to building civil and economic infrastructure! Click here to view the complete Tidbits for Vayeishev.