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Breaking walls by opening hearts

Translation by Yehoshua Siskin

Here's a wonderful thought that was sent to me by Dael Cohen:

"Often in life everything seems stuck. That's also the case in this week's Torah portion, Vayigash, when it appears that there is no way out. The brothers find themselves trapped by the Egyptian viceroy who stubbornly insists on taking one of them as his slave. It is not at all clear how this crisis can be resolved. Often we find ourselves in the midst of difficult and wearisome negotiations. This can involve an employee's request for a pay raise, a soldier's desire to join a certain military unit, or a convict's plea before a judge. You feel trapped between walls of strict laws and uncompromising procedures. What can be done?

"Yehuda teaches us that the key is to open the heart. 'Then Yehuda approached him.' Yehuda simply approaches the Egyptian viceroy and tells his story, including all its nuances and complexities. He speaks with sincerity, shares his feelings, and is not embarrassed to cry out and display his distress. And then the unbelievable happens: Joseph cannot restrain himself any longer and reveals that he -- their long lost brother -- is the Egyptian viceroy. The brothers are deeply moved, weep, reunite, and everything turns out for the best. When we start to speak truthfully and sincerely, heart meets heart, and the atmosphere changes from one of srict judgment to lovingkindness. Suddenly the walls crumble and everything appears more flexible and possible. Try this at home. You won't be disappointed."


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