Larchmont Temple Chevra Torah

Questioning faith in the parsha

Jane B: Exile can be good

Jane Boris Brandes

Reb Jeff, definitely the people. The people in that place, at that time. Many say their grandparents who came in the years of great immigration didn’t want to even talk about their ‘Egypt.’ But the shtetl, their Goshen, that was another story. I picture Anatevka. The characters, their way of living, the values, the Shabbat candles brought on the journey.

I realized from Vayigash that ironically exile in Goshen was good for the Jews; they grew uninterrupted, until they were targeted. By the time of their exodus, though, they had numbers and were organized with tribal leaders, and could produce a Joshua and a Caleb, and a Nachshon from the tribe of Judah.

I love the way Emily’s story illustrates the handing down of lifestyle from the Jewish grandmother which is unavoidably of her, by whatever name one calls it.

The thing about Goshen it seems is that it is the formative place in the past–which at times we can create, like at chevra.

And Ze’ev, the costumes. Starts with the multi-colored coat, the bloodied shirt, the jacket Potiphar tears, and goes on from there.


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