Shabbat Chazak Parshat Vayechi – News and What’s On

“Yosef died at the age of one hundred and ten years, and and he was embalmed and placed in a coffin in Egypt.” (Bereshis 50:26)

When we conclude the public reading of any of the five books of the Torah, it is customary for the entire community to call out, “chazak chazak v’nischazek!” – “Be strong, be strong, and may we be strengthened!” to encourage one another in the continued study of the Torah. In particular, the proclamation “chazak chazak v’nischazek” highlights the strength we draw from these concluding verses of the book we have read, as well as the strength that the message of these final verses imbues into the ensuing book of Torah that we will soon begin.

Yet the book of Bereshis concludes with what seems to be an unfavourable event – Yosef’s interment in Egypt. Whereas Yaakov’s body had been brought to the land of Canaan for immediate burial, Yosef’s body was embalmed and remained in Egypt, “the shame of the earth.” How is Yosef’s burial in Egypt a source of strength and encouragement?

Upon careful consideration, however, Yosef’s burial is the ultimate embodiment of the theme of the book of Bereshis and its lead-up into the book of Shemos.

Throughout Bereshis we read about the deeds of our patriarchs and matriarchs, which served to inspire and guide their descendants, the Jewish people, particularly during the dark times of galus, exile. Likewise, we learn of G-d’s promise that Bnei Yisrael would not remain exiled in Egypt forever, and that they would return to their homeland even richer and greater than they were before. These accounts, as well as Yaakov’s blessings to his children near the end of the book, assisted and empowered Bnei Yisrael to endure their exile in Egypt.

Ultimately, however, in order for Bnei Yisrael to survive and even thrive in the lengthy exile, they needed not only promises, blessings, and a legacy to aspire to, but also the presence of an actual source of strength to help them overcome the darkness of galus.

Yosef’s burial in Egypt thus constitutes the most invigorating conclusion to the book of Bereshis. For the physical presence of the holy remains of Yosef, the one without whose permission “no one may lift his hand or his foot in the entire land of Egypt,” was what gave Bnei Yisrael the strength to overpower the difficult exile that lay ahead.

-An excerpt from a talk by the Rebbe (Likkutei Sichos, vol. 25, pp. 476-479)

To read more about this week’s parsha click here



7:00 PM Kabbalat Shabbat followed by dinner in honour of the yartzeit of Sharon Brokensha’s father – indoors – RSVP ONLY

10:00 AM Shacharit followed by lunch – indoors – RSVP ONLY



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Shabbat Times for This Week

Candle Lighting 8:20 PM

Shabbat Ends 9:25 PM


Mazel Tovs & Yartzeits

We wish long life to Sharon Brokensha on the yartzeit of her father obm.

Happy birthday to Anthony Deutsch!

Happy birthday to Sam Selkon!

Happy birthday to Nate Kantor!


Coming Up!

Sunday 19th December 10:00 AM – 12:00: Hebrew School end of year celebration

27th December – 7th January: Camp Gan Israel school holiday programme

Register your kids for camp here if you haven’t yet!


Wishing you a Good Shabbos,

Rabbi Mendel and Esther Hecht