Friday, December 16, 2011

Dvar Torah For Parashat VaYeishev

In this week's Torah portion Ya'akov sends Yosef on a special mission:
12 And his brethren went to feed their father's flock in Shechem. 13 And Israel said unto Joseph: 'Do not thy brethren feed the flock in Shechem? come, and I will send thee unto them.' And he said to him: 'Here am I.' 14 And he said to him: 'Go now, see whether it is well with thy brethren, and well with the flock; and bring me back word.' So he sent him out of the vale of Hebron, and he came to Shechem. 15 And a certain man found him, and, behold, he was wandering in the field. And the man asked him, saying: 'What seekest thou?' 16 And he said: 'I seek my brethren. Tell me, I pray thee, where they are feeding the flock.' 17 And the man said: 'They are departed hence; for I heard them say: Let us go to Dothan.'
Rashi comments on the words, "They are departed hence":
They have caused themselves to depart from brotherhood.
After reading the news this week, I feel that we have departed from brotherhood. I seek my brethren! I seek my brethren who strive to build up the land of Israel and not to destroy it. I seek my brethren that will not judge me by whether I have a beard or not. I seek my brethren that will not judge me by the color of my head covering or the lack of one. I seek my brethren that understand that the Israeli Defense Force is not a tool to be used for partisan gains. I seek my brethren who are not gung ho for a civil war. I see my brethren who do not incite. I seek my brethren that would never dream of harming our soldiers or damaging our army in any way.

We have to restore the feeling of brotherhood within the nation. Our sages have taught us over and over again that this is the key to redemption.

Unity does not mean uniformity! There is room for differences of opinion and differences in style. The main thing is to stress what unifies us and not what divides us.

I seek my brethren! Are they seeking me?
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