Dvar Torah Parshat Vayigash 2009 5769 דבר תורה פרשת ויגש

coming_homeWhen Yaakov and Yosef’s brothers came to Egypt we are told his brothers said to Pharaoh; LAGUR BA’ARETZ BANU, “…we have come to sojourn in the land…”.(Gen. 47,4) The Hebrew word LAGUR, to sojourn, comes from the root GER which indicates a stranger. What the brothers were saying is that they did not come to Egypt to settle and stay there but plan to live there temporarily. We repeat this thought every Pesach when we recite the Haggadah which in turn recalls the words of the Sifri, “…This teaches that Yaakov our father did not go down to settle but to sojourn there…”.

The Vilna Gaon stresses this point and says that the reason the Bnei Yisrael were able to leave Egypt was because they never planned to settle there. Today we find many Jewish people dispersed throughout the Diaspora. It is not through their own will that they find themselves there. Jews were sent into the Galut by our enemies. The fact that they never accepted the Galut as a permanent arrangement is why we were able to come back to the land promised our people by Hashem.

Anyone who still finds himself in Galut because of uncontrollable circumstances, but has not yet made peace with the situation and dreams of some day dwelling in Israel will eventually, with the help of Hashem, find the means and the conviction to make Aliya and come live in Israel.

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