“Vayigash Alov Yehuda“, And Yehuda came very close, almost touching, him (Yosef).
How appropriate that we read this parsha this particular Shabbat, as we, Bnei Yisrael, the Jewish People, seem to be in the vortex of changing our relationship to the world and to all the other nations. Not knowing that the arbitrary official questioning and challenging him and his brothers these last years as they were forced to acknowledge their own capability to be completely independent and must, rather, come to Egypt to beg the opportunity to buy food was, in fact, his own brother, Yosef, Joseph, with an agenda far different than it appears on the surface, Yehuda steps right up, to answer the challenge with his own.
This is a Bnei Yisrael, a Jewish People, who had not yet undergone the shame of slavery, who had not yet spent millennia in exile both foreign and hostile. The Jewish people had yet to be chased from their own land and then cruelly chased from wherever else we tried to make, at least, a a temporary shelter.
And this is Yehuda, the essence of all of our future true leadership, the precursor and ancestor to David and all future kings of Israel for all time. No lick-spittle, he stands up to the most powerful secular ruler in the world. He comes out swinging for his family, his people, for our collective future.
May we not only be inspired, but fortified to act as our own best advocates in the world area, beginning now , just a few days after being reminded of just how few real friends and true allies we can rely on. Even a significant portion of our own people have, over the millennia, been overwhelmed with so much antisemitism that, as a people, we can be said to have contracted a deadly form of internalized anti-semitism, no longer nourished with the ability to resist joining our enemies.
Vayigash Alov, may Yehuda stand tall, may we unapologetically and unashamedly step up and take our rightful place among the nations, may we find strength to survive and then thrive, to be and to bring to humanity the light which is our responsibility and our privilege.