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Friday, Tevet 6, 5783 (Hakhel Year) / December 30, 2022


In this week’s Parsha, Vayigash, we read how Yosef, who is the ruler of Egypt, reveals his true identity to his brothers. When the brothers return to their father, they tell him the wonderful news that Yosef, whom they have not seen for so many years, is not only alive, but is the ruler of Egypt. Yaakov exclaims, “Much joy and pleasure is in store for me, since my son, Yosef, is alive. I will go and see him before I die.” Yaakov and his family all moved to Egypt.  


Q.How many years was Yosef (Joseph) separated from his father and family?


A.Twenty-two years. He was seventeen when sold by his brothers and 39 when he was reunited with his father and brothers in Egypt.


Q.What was the difference in age between Yosef and his younger brother, Binyamin (Benjamin)?


A.Eight years. All of Yaakov’s children were born during the years he was with his father-in-law in Charan. Binyamin was his only son born when Yaakov returned to Canaan (Israel).


Q.How many family members were they when they moved to Egypt?


A.Seventy.  The Parsha mentions all their names, but we only have 69. There are two opinions on how the number seventy is calculated. Some say it was Yaakov himself. Others say it was Yocheved (Moshe’s mother, who makes number seventy. She was born as soon as they entered Egypt.


Q.How old was Yaakov when he and his family moved to Egypt? How many great grandchildren did he have at the time?


A.Yaakov was one hundred and thirty years. He had four great grandchildren at the time.


Q.How long did Yaakov live in Egypt? How many years did his descendants stay in Egypt?


A.Yaakov lived in Egypt for seventeen years. He died at the age of 147. His descendants, the children of Israel, lived in Egypt for 210 years until the Exodus.


Q.Yosef interpreted Pharaoh’s dreams that there will be seven good years and seven hunger years. We know that the seven good years were fulfilled. Did the hunger years last seven year too?


A.Yaakov (Jacob) came to Egypt in the second year of the hunger. When Yaakov came to Egypt G-d performed a miracle and the famine stopped. Thus, the famine lasted only two years.  


As many of you will be traveling these days, may G-d bless you to travel in safety and return in safety.  Enjoy your vacation in GOOD HEALTHand HAPPINESS. A HAPPY YEAR TO ALL.




Montreal candle lighting time: 4:01 / Shabbat ends: 5:11