December 28, 2023 / 16 Tevet, 5784 • Parshat Vayechi
Issue 801
Dedicated in loving memory of Mrs. Miriam Friedman

Joseph bound the sons of Israel by an oath,
saying “G-d will deliver you, and you must take
up my bones from here.” 

Gen. 50:25

The word for “bones” (עֲצָמותֹ) in Hebrew also means “essence” (עַצמְותּ).

Allegorically, placing Joseph’s bones safely in a coffin, where they will remain intact throughout the Egyptian exile, alludes to how our Divine essence always remains intact, impervious to any corruption or dilution that might conceivably result from our prolonged stay in exile.

Our incorruptible Divine essence is, first of all, our promise that, like Joseph, we will ultimately leave exile and proceed to the Promised Land. But moreover, it is our inspiration to resist the enticements of materiality in order to remain true to our true selves, thereby hastening our own personal redemption as well as that of the entire world.

--Daily Wisdom Volume 3