Torah Portion: Vayigash (And He Came) B’resheet (Genesis) 44-47
Haftorah Reading: Ezekiel 37:15-28
Tonight we read of the reunion of Joseph and his brothers after 22 years. This is also a fulfillment of G-d’s word to Avraham in Genesis 15:13-14 where He tells him that his descendents would be slaves in a strange land but He, G-d, would bring them out with great possessions. So here we see the beginning of that word from the L-rd. This time in Egypt was foretold to the patriarchs and was possibly passed down to Jacob by his father and grandfather. Evidently G-d saw these years of testing as necessary before the Jewish people could become who G-d planned them to be from the beginning.
Torah Portion: Vayishlach (And He Sent) B’resheet (Genesis) 32-36
Haftorah Reading: Hosea 11:7-12:12
Today we cover one of the pivotal events in the life of Jacob. He is about to meet his estranged twin, Esau, after 20 years apart. I’m sure the words of his brother are still ringing in his ears. We read them in Genesis 27:41. As Jacob got ready to cross the Jabbok, a stream that became part of the Jordan River, he made plans for the coming meeting. He sent messengers ahead to speak to Esau and to, if possible, placate his anger. He divided his band into groups, hoping if one was attacked the other might escape. He sent a vast amount of livestock over as a gift to Esau. Why do you think he did this? Was it to soothe the anger of Esau or was it to sooth his own guilt over the trick he and his mother had used to fool Isaac and steal the blessing from Esau?