Thursday, January 12, 2012


A good friend of mine is a student at the Kabbalah Centre here in New York. I also know her through Toastmasters, a club dedicated to training people to become better public speakers. When the meeting ended, we started chatting. She told me that I had fulfilled the parashat for that particular week: Vayigash. Vayigash is Hebrew for, "then he drew near.". After researching the parashat, I learned about Judah's plea for mercy to Joseph on behalf of Benjamin, the youngest brother of Jacob and Rachel. Joseph pretended not to know him, but as Judah offered himself as a servant, Joseph became emotional. He reveals himself to his brothers and weeps as he learns of his father's welfare. In the end, Jacob's family takes refuge in Egypt, as per the permission of Pharaoh.

In many cases, one must confront the darkness that befalls them. In this case, Joseph had to confront the trauma of the malice aforethought of his brothers. Eventually, he would forgive, and then release. We, like Joseph, must confront our darkness and our demons head on. They often linger, waiting to strike at vulnerable moments. This is where your bravery comes into effect. When the Light is embraced, one may eradicate the sordid past that manifests itself in the present.

After giving an extensive 10 minute speech on bullying, the Kabbalah student informed me of this parashat from the Zohar. This was a wonderful synchronous moment, for I felt a huge release from speaking about a subject that hit close to home. I feel that now, I have a greater chance of healing from these scars.

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