December 15, 2017 ~ Shabbat MIQES. Maqam SIGAH.

Shabbat Vayigash


ותחי רוח יעקב אביהם ויאמר ישראל - Throughout the Torah, our forefather is referred to as either Jacob or Israel. When the name 'Israel' is applied, it is usually a display of strength, unity and elevation. When Jacob learns that Joseph is still alive, the name 'Israel' suddenly reappears (Genesis 45:27-28) to illustrate Jacob's uplifted spirit. The revival of the name 'Israel' teaches us that only when there was unity of the family did Jacob have hope for the future and experience true happiness. When there were signs of disunity and hatred in the family, such as after the sale of Joseph, hope was diminished, and the term 'Israel' was used less often. When it comes to our people, we may not always agree with each other on every issue or any issue, but what makes us the great nation of 'Israel' is our ability to remain united and respectful despite our differences (Beth Torah, 1/7/17).