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Parashat Vayigash / פרשת ויגש

Crop of Joseph Dwelleth In Egypt by James Jacques Joseph Tissot


Parashat Vayigash is the 11th weekly reading in the annual Torah reading cycle, and the 11th reading of Bereshit (“Genesis”). Vayigash (וַיִּגַּשׁ) is Hebrew for And He Drew Near and is the first word of the parashah, which begins with Yehudah (Judah) approaching Yosef (Joseph) to intercede with him on behalf of his brothers.

The parashah records Yehudah’s recounting of the events that led to the current circumstances of Bnei Ya’akov (the Children of Jacob), and his case for why he should take the place of his brother Binyamin (Benjamin) as Yosef’s servant. Yosef is moved by Yehudah’s love for his father and brothers and reveals himself to his brothers in response. The parashah records Yosef’s gracious compassion for his family, including his promise to save them from the famine.

Parashat Vayigash continues with Pharaoh’s response to the news about Yosef’s brothers, including Pharaoh’s command to Yosef to give to his family the best of the land. Yosef’s brothers therefore return to Kena’an (Canaan) in order to bring their father Ya’akov to Yosef. The parashah records Ya’akov’s initial unbelief, followed by his journey to see his son Yosef with his offspring. The parashah records their names.

The parashah records Ya’akov’s eventual reunion with his son Yosef, and the reasoning behind why Yisrael (Israel) came to dwell in Goshen. The parashah further records Pharaoh’s meeting of Yosef’s brothers, first, followed by his meeting with Ya’akov, and Yosef’s provision for his family and all of their dependants.

Parashat Vayigash concludes with the account of how Yosef bought all of Eretz Mitzrayim (the Land of Egypt) and its people for Pharaoh, making servants of all of the people, except for the Kohanim (Priests) of Pharaoh. The parashah records the gratitude of the people of Mitzrayim toward Pharaoh and Yosef for saving them.

Torah Portion: Genesis 44:18 – 47:27

1st Aliyah: Genesis 44:18-30 (13 verses)
2nd Aliyah: Genesis 44:31-45:7 (11 verses)
3rd Aliyah: Genesis 45:8-18 (11 verses)
4th Aliyah: Genesis 45:19-27 (9 verses)
5th Aliyah: Genesis 45:28-46:27 (28 verses)
6th Aliyah: Genesis 46:28-47:10 (17 verses)
7th Aliyah: Genesis 47:11-27 (17 verses)
Maftir: Genesis 47:25-27 (3 verses)

Reading from the Nevi’im (Prophets):
Ezekiel 37:15 – 37:28

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