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MOURNING JOSEPH WHILE HE WAS STILL ALIVE

December 8th, 2017

After Joseph’s sale into slavery, his brothers returned to Jacob with manufactured evidence of his demise.

Jacob was inconsolable, and the Torah proclaims that he mourned his son for “many days”, a statement interpreted by the Midrash to mean the full 22 years of their separation from each other.

Rashi adds that no person can ever be consoled in their grief for a loved one if that person is still alive, and the fact that one can ever get over the death of a loved one is a Heavenly “decree”.

Rabbi Dunner unpacks this curious aspect of the Joseph story, revealing why it is rather more than a superfluous postcript.

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