Weekly Words of Torah goes PC (Parashah and Chesed) – Parashat Vayigash (Shabbat 1/4/20)

To inspire, guide, engage, enrich, and empower Conservative Jewish Women
By Rabbi Ellen S. Wolintz-Fields, Executive Director, Women’s League For Conservative Judaism

Parashat Vayigash begins with Judah pleading on behalf of his brothers, and Benjamin, and their father, Jacob. Joseph can no longer hide his identity and reveals himself to his brothers. They are surprised and an emotional reunion takes place. Pharaoh invites all of Joseph’s family to live in Egypt. Jacob’s family moves to Egypt.

Teshuva means return or repentance. Parashat Vayigash is a great example of a family returning to each other, and confronting past wrongs. This week’s story of the reconciliation of Joseph and his brothers is an opportunity to talk about past mistakes, and perhaps a time to undergo a period of assessment and evaluation. Sometimes people feel slighted and we do not even know.

An act of Chesed this week can be to call every member of your Sisterhood, say hello, and, if you have not seen them recently, open a conversation about what has been going right, and what can be improved. If you know that the person has felt slighted in the past, it would be a great act of Chesed this week, to say, “Let’s forgive each other,” and reconcile. Working on a relationship that needs repair is also an act of Chesed.

Weekly Words of Torah is a brief paragraph prepared weekly by our Executive Director, Rabbi Ellen S. Wolintz-Fields, presented in our “This Week @ Women’s League.” WWOT will provide meaningful thoughts related to the Weekly Torah Portion, an event on the Calendar, a Prayer, or something of Jewish interest, to inspire, guide, engage, enrich, and empower Conservative Jewish Women. If you have any particular interest in future topics, or want to send Rabbi Wolintz-Fields an email, you can contact her at ewolintz-fields@wlcj.org. Read previous Weekly Words of Torah here, and stay up-to-date with the latest WWOT theme, Chesed, here.