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Chazak, chazak, v’nitchazek.” “Be strong, be strong and let us be strengthened!”
These are the words with which the congregation responds when the final verse of one of the five books of  the Torah is read aloud. This week we finish reading Genesis, which culminates in the story of Joseph, and how Jacob’s family and their descendants come to live in Egypt. The story of the Israelite nation in Egypt is one that begins in glory, results in affliction, and ends with liberation.

When we come up against difficulties in our own lives, may the words “chazak, chazak, v’nitchazek” remind us of the strength of our ancestors, and inspire us to confront and overcome whatever challenges we face.

Rabbi Sandra M. Bellush