Seriously, is there anyone out there who does not like a nice happy ending? The previous portions dealing with Joseph are burdened with some really heavy events, for someone with so many highs and lows in their life it is kind of nice that his story ends relatively quiet and understated. Vayigash is the portion where Joseph breaks into tears revealing himself to his brothers, he is reunited with his beloved and in a way estranged father, and he relocates his entire family to Egypt so they will be closer to him.
Joseph up until this point is the quintessential conservative archetype, he worked hard building himself up in wealth and power while maintaining an uncompromising stance in blind faith and “got over” being a slave and prisoner. The Joseph of Vayigash is the polar opposite of this approach, he provides land for his reconciled family to live on using his status as a statesmen, he also negotiates with the populace securing all the land and resources in Egypt for Pharaoh and his government creating a socialized large government, and it works with great success.
What really stood out to me this week is what transpires at the end of the Parsha, where Joseph barters back the land of Egypt from the locals for Pharaoh. As much as I might try to block out what is about to happen in the coming week’s portions in regards to the Hebrews in Egypt I just can not do it. People are not born racist, they are taught racism and yet in a way you can’t teach racism because when you think about it being racist is an impossible state of being for humans what is not is being an “economist.” Living my entire life in the United States stereotypically Jews and East Asians are viewed as smart and crafty but not industrious, anyone with black or brown skin is often portrayed as lazy and dim witted and of course not industrious. The industrious people of American society are the white Christians all of whom have built and maintain the only world super power. This is all ridiculous non-sense but we can see a parallel with our modern society and ancient Egypt. The Torah never mentions Joseph hiding the fact he was a foreign ex-slave who served hard time in prison, because he was able to provide for everyone he was excepted and loved as was his tribe by proxy. As the generations passed the Egyptians forgot about how Joseph showed mercy and treated all like a brother and his kinsmen became the others of society and thus a liability.
What do you think? Was Joseph driven by mercy? How has your views on other cultures within your own changed over the years? Please share post a comment below or send me a message [email protected] Twitter: circlepitbimah.