In the final negotiations between Joseph and his brothers regarding the fate of Benjamin, which were extremely intense, Judah takes the lead. This is strange because Reuben was the oldest and one might have thought that it was his role. Rashi explains that Judah was interceding as he had the most to lose as he guaranteed Benjamin’s return with his eternal life.
The question is why Jacob accepted this guarantee but not the one that Reuben made in last week’s portion?
A closer comparison of the two guarantees reveals the difference: Reuben offered the lives of his children while Judah only offered himself. And while Jacob wasn’t interested in either of these outcomes he recognized that no one seriously offers one’s children and that Reuben did not really think before he spoke. Conversely, in desperate situations, it is not unusual to see people sacrifice themselves for the common good so Jacob could feel secure that Judah thought before he made this commitment to return Benjamin.
In tight situations we are often tempted to say whatever we think will get us out off the spot. Let us learn from Judah that our words are precious and should only be expended after careful consideration!
From the Chesed Committee:
MLK Weekend Service Project: Transforming Spaces for Older Adults
In partnership with UJA-Federation and the help of volunteers like you, Educational Alliance is doing a dynamic refurbishment of our Sirovich Center for Balanced Living, an innovative senior center in the East Village. Activities include painting murals, building furniture, and more!
· Sunday January 15 – sign up here for AM shifts or here for PM shifts
· Monday, January 16 – sign up here for AM shifts or here for PM shifts
Note: Shifts are available on Sunday and Monday, but our group will be doing Sunday AM if you can make that time.
For more information, contact Sam Greenberg firstname.lastname@example.org or 646.395.4256.
A vote in the House of Representatives is being taken on a resolution sponsored by Ed Royce (R-KS) and Kevin McCarthy to repeal or alter the UN Resolution 2334. Please contact your local representatives expressing your support for this resolution.
TriBeCa Synagogue is a supporter of the upcoming Mega Challah Bake February 5, at the Grand Hyatt from 11am-12:30pm!