This Week's Torah Reading
: Genesis 44: 18 - 47:27
If you like reunions, this is your Torah portion! The
begins with Benjamin about to be arrested, for Joseph had planted a silver divining cup in his pack. Judah steps forward to offer his life in place of Benjamin's. Joseph can no longer restrain himself and reveals his identity.
After recovering from their shock, the brothers return to the Land of Israel to bring Jacob back to Joseph. They reunite with great fanfare, weeping and embracing. Joseph proceeds to settle his father, brothers and their families in the land of Goshen, the "best neighborhood" in Egypt. The Torah portion concludes with Joseph suggesting to Pharaoh a policy of buying all the land in Egypt in exchange for giving food to everyone.
We have just returned from a trip to Israel with several CSI families. For Marion and Ray Sader, this was their first time visiting "the holy land". What follows is an excerpt of some of their thoughts on our trip. (The entire text will be printed in the February bulletin.)
From Marion Sader: "Home to me had always been western Massachusetts, to which I returned later as often as I could. At least until this past ten days when
"home" was nudged a bit from the central core inside me to provide space for another distant, different, distinctive, and divided place.
Yes, the trip to Israel for both Ray and I provided a feeling of being home unlike any other time in my life. My only regret is that I had never gone to my "homeland" when I was younger. The handsome soldiers (male and female) nonchalantly carrying their rifles aroused jealousy; how I wanted to be one of them! Men and boys walking freely wearing
and some with fringes hanging from their jackets caused me to recall incidents of anti-Semitism from my youth. A world full of Jews, all looking different, from different countries! For one raised where there were barely a
number of families at one time and no public Jewish life, this was a compelling eye opener. I thought to myself how different would I be if I had grown up somewhere in Israel?"
From Ray Sader: " I saw the vague hope of my youth turned into concrete reality before my eyes. I saw a vibrant and confident people who are ready to face the future with confidence in themselves. It was, for me, the trip of a lifetime."