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Biography of Yehuda Katz | Archives | This Week's Parsha


"He (Jacob) sent Judah prepare......"(46:28)

At this point the entire household of Jacob are preparing to meet Joseph in Egypt. Jacob sends Judah ahead so that a House of Torah Learning can be set up before the arrival of Jacob and his family. (Please refer to Rashi for further details.) A question can be asked, Why was Judah sent on this mission? Should not have YISSACHAR been sent since the main mission of the tribe of Yissachar is Torah learning? I would like to propose the following original answer, Bezrat Hashem: We find in chapter 38 the incident of Judah and Tomar. (Please refer there for further details.)There it states that once Judah recognized that the woman was actually Tomar, he states (verse38:36) "She is more righteous than me...." Judah revealed himself to be a man of truth for the sake of G_D. He could have denied Tomar's righteousness, yet choose the humble path of admitting the truth at great embarrassment to himself. To seek truth for the sake of G-d is at times a difficult path, but its the only path to discovering the truth in how to serve G-d properly. When Jacob prepared the Jews for their exile in Egypt, he distinctly wanted a house of Torah study to be waiting for them on their arrival.

He choose for this task Juda because Jacob wanted "truth" to be the foundation on which to build this House of Study. Judah was surely the man capable of such a mission. Learning Torah must be based upon the unweaving pursuit of truth for the sake of glorifying G-d, otherwise it will be build on a flimsy foundation. We can not afford the luxury of fooling ourselves when in the pursuit of learning Torah, this is indeed very dangerous. A person can erroneously twist and turn the Torah's logic in the pursuit of nothingness leading to naught if the foundation of truth is not strongly established. Jacob understood this well especially since his children will now be under the crushing influence of Egyptian society. Have a Good Shabbos


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