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Dvar Torah - Miketz

We tend to view our lives as having chapters, much like a book. One set of events ends, and another begins, in hopefully neat order. When we tell our stories, we tend to imagine them this way.

In reality, this is rarely the case. Sometimes events are drawn out, taking a very long time to happen. Other times they happen very fast, but they seem to constantly reappear. Our Parsha features just such an event. Ya'akov lost his beloved son Yossef last week. As such, when he needed to send his sons into Egypt to purchase provisions, he did not send Yossef's younger brother, Binyamin. He reasoned that just as disaster befell Yossef before (he thought), so too it might be for Binyamin in the future. Apparently, his concern was justified. When Binyamin went down to Egypt, he was indeed ensnared in a chain of events that almost led to his being sold as a slave.

For Ya'akov, when he sent his son Binyanim down to Egypt again, he must have felt like history was repeating itself. Even though he had apparently finished the chapter of the (supposed) death of Yossef, he was now forced to engage with a set of events that seem eerily, and worryingly similar.

Ya'akov screwed up his courage and forced himself to embark on a journey that seemed far too similar to what had happened before because he had no choice. His determination and grit allowed him and his family to survive in Egypt, and be reunited with Yossef. In our day too, it seems like the same awful storey keeps repeating itself. First COVID-19, then the Delta variant, and now the Omicron variant. We feel like we're in groundhog day, unable to escape this cycle. However, if we continue to advance with fortitude, the past will be merely prologue, not a prediction of the future. It is said that while history does not repeat itself, it rhymes. Let the rhyme here be remarkable not just for how it is similar but for how it is different.

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