As we begin Parashat Vayigash, Joseph is seated as second in line to the pharaoh in Egypt. His brothers had come down to Egypt seeking food as there was a famine in the land of Canaan. Joseph concealed his identity from his brothers, and in last week’s portion, Mikeitz, he framed them for stealing and held his brother Simeon for ransom until they return with Benjamin.
In his commentary on Vayigash, Rabbi Moskovitz writes of Joseph and his brothers reconnecting. I’d like to discuss some other connections that take place in this parashah: the reunion of Joseph and his father Jacob, and Jacob’s introduction to Pharaoh, which reveals Jacob’s suffering. When Joseph brings his father to meet Pharaoh, his boss and CEO, Pharaoh asks Jacob a simple question, “How many years have you lived?” (Gen. 47:8). Jacob answers the question with an elaborate spin.