Parasha Vayigash (Genesis 44:18–47:27)

Listen here and here and here.

Watch. Wikipedia: “In the parashah, Judah pleads on behalf of his brother Benjamin, Joseph reveals himself to his brothers, Jacob comes down to Egypt, and Joseph’s administration of Egypt saves lives but transforms all the Egyptians into bondmen.”

* Wikipedia: “By Way of Deception: The Making and Unmaking of a Mossad Officer [1] is a nonfiction book by a former katsa (case officer) in the Israeli Mossad, Victor Ostrovsky.”

* Link: “This week, Netflix released Wormwood, a four-hour mini-series that blends documentary filmmaking with dramatized sequences featuring Hollywood actors to tell the story of the CIA’s top secret MKUltra Program.”

Revelation 8:10: “Then the third angel sounded his trumpet, and a great star burning like a torch fell from heaven and landed on a third of the rivers and on the springs of water. 11. The name of the star is Wormwood. A third of the waters turned bitter like wormwood oil, and many people died from the bitter waters.”

* “This video is not intended to condone violence or hate.”

* Salma Hayek: “Harvey Weinstein is my Monster Too.” Friend: “I like how she’s not aware that she actually does have nothing going for her but her sexuality.”

* New Yorker: Cat Person

* Variety: Inside Matt Lauer’s Secret Relationship With a ‘Today’ Production Assistant

We went to lunch. My intentions were purely professional…

He opens the door. There you go. It crossed the line. It was a consensual encounter. It happened in his dressing room above studio 1A, which was empty in the afternoons. He got in his car and I had to go back to work, and now my life had completely changed…

The last time I saw him that summer was at the 2000 Democratic National Convention in California. The “Today Show” was live from the Staples Center floor. He was looking at a script, and he leaned over and said to me, “Do you see that bathroom over there? Meet me there in five minutes.” I was leaving and I had no other chance to talk to him. So I went—and we had an encounter. He was like, “Alright. I’ll see you later.” He had no interest in making sure I was cool….

Even though my situation with Matt was consensual, I ultimately felt like a victim because of the power dynamic. He knew that I was leaving, and that there was no better prey than somebody who is going to be gone. He went after the most vulnerable and the least powerful — and those were the production assistants and the interns.

* Heartiste says Roy Moore did nothing wrong.

Friend: “In terms of biological realism, it’s more perverse to lust after a 40-year old than it is to lust after a 14-year old. That’s not to say the young ones should be legal, but our disapprobation shouldn’t involve terms like deviancy or depravity necessarily.”

Gen. 46: 3 “I am God, the God of your father,” he said. “Do not be afraid to go down to Egypt, for I will make you into a great nation there. 4 I will go down to Egypt with you, and I will surely bring you back again.”

How would the Egyptians feel that the Israelites are going to become a “great nation” within their midst, simply use their land for a pasture during a famine, and then return to their own land triumphant?

Gen. 46: 31: Then Joseph said to his brothers and to his father’s household, “I will go up and speak to Pharaoh and will say to him, ‘My brothers and my father’s household, who were living in the land of Canaan, have come to me. 32 The men are shepherds; they tend livestock, and they have brought along their flocks and herds and everything they own.’ 33 When Pharaoh calls you in and asks, ‘What is your occupation?’ 34 you should answer, ‘Your servants have tended livestock from our boyhood on, just as our fathers did.’ Then you will be allowed to settle in the region of Goshen, for all shepherds are detestable to the Egyptians.”

Is there any down side to a group developing a tricky and dishonest reputation? Will becoming known for dishonesty and running scams and manipulation serve a group well in the long run? How do you think the Egyptians felt when they realized they had been manipulated or are the goyim too stupid to ever catch on? Might there be a backlash for this trickery? How would Jews feel if an alien group came to live among them and use manipulation and deceit to get what they wanted to keep the majority off balance?

How should Egyptians feel about a new group entering their land who made their living as shepherds when apparently the shepherd is detestable to Egyptians and the sheep is worshiped as divine? How would Jews do in the beef industry in India where the cow is sacred?

Gen. 47: 5 Pharaoh said to Joseph, “Your father and your brothers have come to you, 6 and the land of Egypt is before you; settle your father and your brothers in the best part of the land. Let them live in Goshen. And if you know of any among them with special ability, put them in charge of my own livestock.”

So how might Egyptians react to their Pharoah giving the best parts of their land to foreigners? Might there be a backlash? How would they feel about these foreigners getting to run the Pharoah’s livestock? How do they feel about a foreigner (Joseph) being second in power in the land next to the Pharoah? Might they resent this foreign power and intrusion?

Gen. 47: 20 So Joseph bought all the land in Egypt for Pharaoh. The Egyptians, one and all, sold their fields, because the famine was too severe for them.

Might the Egyptians come to resent Joseph and his people for turning them into slaves?

About Luke Ford

I've written five books (see My work has been covered in the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, and on 60 Minutes. I teach Alexander Technique in Beverly Hills (
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