Sharona Margolin Halickman

Parting is such sweet sorrow

In Parshat Miketz, Yosef tells his brothers that in order to prove that they are not spies they must go back home and return with their youngest brother.

Upon the brothers arrival we read (Breisheet 42:29):

They came to their father Yaakov, to the Land of C’naan, and they told him all that had happened to them…

Notice that the verse first notifies us that they came to their father and then it mentions that they came to the Land of C’naan.

In contrast, In Parshat Vayigash, after Yosef reveals who he really is, he sends his brothers home to bring back their father. There, the order is reversed. First the Land of C’naan is mentioned followed by their father (Breisheet 45:25):

They went up from Egypt, and they came to the Land of C’naan, to their father Yaakov.

What is the reason for the change in order?

The Netziv in his commentary HaEmek Davar explains that this time, they came first to part with the Land, as they knew that now the entire nation would be moving to Egypt while seeing their father was secondary as he would be coming with them.

Leaving Israel can be difficult especially when you don’t know when you will be returning.

The same is true today. Those who live in Israel and are attached to the Land feel a sense of sadness when they leave even if it is for a short time or a vacation.

Even Israelis who choose to relocate often feel a sense of loss when they are leaving as well as while they are gone.

When Israelis who go on “shlichut” to serve as emissaries on behalf of Israel in the Diaspora for a limited amount of time, they think that they know exactly when they will be back in Israel. Yet things don’t always work out as planned due to circumstances that may be beyond their control and they are not always back when they expected.

Tourists who have had a good experience often have a hard time leaving Israel as they can never be sure of when they will return.

May we all merit to spend as much time as we would like in the modern State of Israel and appreciate every moment.

About the Author
Sharona holds a BA in Judaic Studies from Stern College and an MS in Jewish Education from Azrieli Graduate School, Yeshiva University. Sharona was the first Congregational Intern and Madricha Ruchanit at the Hebrew Institute of Riverdale, NY. After making aliya in 2004, Sharona founded Torat Reva Yerushalayim, a non profit organization based in Jerusalem which provides Torah study groups for students of all ages and backgrounds.
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