Rabbi Hagai Lundin
Rabbi Hagai LundinCourtesy

The book of Genesis is accompanied by struggles throughout– Cain and Abel, Abraham and Sodom, Isaac and Ishmael, Jacob and Esav, Joseph and his brothers. One can despair of such a beginning of human history. Great figures who seemingly fail to bring peace and harmony to the world. Must the sword devour us forever?

The ending of the book of Genesis is also bleak. Jacob dies. Joseph dies. And the curtain falls on the Israelites who are enslaved in Egypt. We were so looking forward to a happy ending, and it didn't happen. The great are gone; who will save us now?

But at the end of the Torah portion, Joseph says four words that have resonated forever and ever in the ears of every man and woman faced with a bleak future: "And God will remember you". True, now it is difficult; and there is also no immediate solution to the enslavement. Great Torah scholars have left us; it is not clear when there will be peace; and it is not clear how our family, political and personal problems will be solved.

But one thing is for sure: there is a God and He will remember us! It may not be in our time but in the time of our grandchildren, in the end it will happen. You will bring Joseph's coffin to the Land of Israel. We will live forever.

People who study Parashat Vayechi are people who do not get excited about media storms. They are also not stressed by difficulties and look for shortcuts because otherwise "the end of the world will come". They simply do what they understand needs to be done and know that God will remember them; in this world or in the world to come.

The bad will pass.

The good will prevail.

With God's help.