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Parshat Vayeshev/Shabbat Mevarchim                                  December 21, 2019  23 Kislev, 5780
                                               Rabbi Sacks on Parshat Vayeshev
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                  HERTZ  141           The deception has taken   living,” it says. In other words,  taken away while no one is
                                       place. Joseph has been   Jacob refused to be comforted   looking, the issue between
                                                                                           them will be settled by the
                                                               because he had not yet given
                                       sold into slavery. His
                  HAFTORAH             brothers dipped his coat   up hope that Joseph was still   taking of an oath before the
             ARTSCROLL   1142          in blood. They bring it   alive. That, tragically, is the   Lord that the neighbor did
                  HERTZ  152           back to their father,   fate of those who have lost   not lay hands on the other
                                       saying: “Look what we   members of their family (the   person’s property…If it [the
             Shabbat Mevarchim         have found. Do you      parents of soldiers missing in   animal] was torn to pieces
             Rosh Chodesh Tevet        recognize it? Is this your  action, for example), but have  by a wild animal, he shall
               Shabbat & Sunday                                                            bring the remains as
                                       son’s robe or not?” Jacob  as yet no proof that they are
                  Dec. 28 - 29         recognizes it and replies,  dead. They cannot go through   evidence and he will not be
               Molad: Thurs. Dec. 26   “It is my son’s robe. A   the normal stages of mourning  required to pay for the torn
                  at 8:02:8 pm         wild beast has devoured   because they cannot abandon   animal. (Exodus 22:10–13)
                                       him. Joseph has been    the possibility that the missing
                     Times             torn to pieces.” We then   person is still capable of being   The issue at stake is the
                                       read: Jacob rent his    rescued. Their continuing   extent of responsibility
           Candle Lighting      4:11 pm   clothes, put on sackcloth,  anguish is a form of loyalty; to   borne by a guardian
                                                                                           (shomer). If the animal is
                                       and mourned his son for   give up, to mourn, to be
           Mincha               4:15 pm   a long time. His sons and  reconciled to loss is a kind of   lost through negligence, the
           Hashkama             8:00 am   daughters tried to   betrayal. In such cases, grief   guardian is at fault and
                                                                                           must make good the loss. If
                                       comfort him, but he     lacks closure. To refuse to be
           Youth Minyan         8:30 am   refused to be comforted.  comforted is to refuse to give   there is no negligence,
                                       He said, “I will go down   up hope.                 merely force majeure, an
           Parsha Shiur         8:30 am                                                    unavoidable, unforeseeable
                                       to the grave mourning for
           Main                 9:00 am   my son.” (Gen. 37:34–  Yet on what basis did Jacob   accident, the guardian is
                                                               continue to hope? Surely, he
                                                                                           exempt from blame. One
           Beit Midrash         9:15 am                        had recognized Joseph’s blood- such case is where the loss
                                       There are laws in       stained coat – he said      has been caused by a wild
           Gemara Shiur         3:35 pm   Judaism about the limits   explicitly, “A wild beast has   animal. The wording in the
           Mincha               4:05 pm   of grief – shiva,    devoured him. Joseph has    law – tarof yitaref, “torn to
                                       sheloshim, a year. There  been torn to pieces.” Do these  pieces” – exactly parallels
           Shabbat Ends         5:20 pm   is no such thing as a   words not mean that he had   Jacob’s judgment in the
                                       bereavement for which   accepted that Joseph was    case of Joseph: tarof toraf
           R’ Reisman Video     7:30 pm   grief is endless. The                            Yosef, “Joseph has been
           Shiur                                               dead? The late David Daube
                                       Talmud says that God    made a suggestion that I find   torn to pieces.” We know
           Sun. Dec. 22      7:30/8:30 am   admonishes one who   convincing. The words the sons  that some such law existed
           Teen Minyan          9:30 am   weeps beyond the     say to Jacob – haker na,    prior to the giving of the
                                       appointed time, “You are  literally “identify please” –   Torah. Jacob himself says to
           Mon. - Fri.       6:35/7:45 am
           Chanukah                      not more compassionate   have a quasi-legal connotation.  Laban, whose flocks and
           Mincha               4:15 pm   than I.” And yet Jacob   Daube relates this passage to   herds had been placed in
                                       refuses to be comforted.   another, with which it has   his charge, “I did not bring
                   Latest Times for    A Midrash gives a       close linguistic parallels: If a   you animals torn by wild
                Shema/Shemoneh Esrei   remarkable explanation.   man gives a donkey, an ox, a   beasts; I bore the loss
                                       “One can be comforted   sheep or any other animal to   myself” (Gen. 31:39). This
           Dec. 21          9:34/10:20 am   for one who is dead, but   his neighbor for safekeeping   implies that guardians even
                                       not for one who is still   and it dies or is injured or is   then were exempt from
           Dec. 28          9:37/10:23 am
                    Next Shabbat                                            Kiddush is sponsored in honor of the
           Candle Lighting      4:15 pm                  Main Sanctuary’s Gabbaim
           Mincha               4:15 pm                  for all their hard work and dedication
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