Home > Rabbi's Message > D’var Torah: Parashat Vayeishev

Black Friday, Cyber Monday and (finally) Giving Tuesday. In this period of rampant consumerism, we are reminded of the importance of sharing with others and that each and every one of us can take a step to improve someone else’s life. Giving Tzedakah is a year-round responsibility, and shouldn’t be relegated to just one day. We ought to keep the message of Giving Tuesday with us for the remainder of the week, the month and the year! Many worthwhile organizations arrange for matching gifts at this time of year, a single contribution may result in double, and sometimes triple the gift. One act of generosity, one act of sharing has the potential to make a tremendous difference.

If you’ve ever doubted that a single action can have worthwhile consequences, note that in this week’s Torah portion, Vayeishev, the single action of an unnamed stranger impacts the future of the entire Jewish people. By merely taking a moment out of his day to provide Joseph with a bit of help, the stranger directs Joseph to his brothers when Joseph is searching for them. Joseph subsequently finds them at Dothan (Gen. 37:15-17). This one act of kindness sets off a course of events that ultimately brings all of Joseph’s family to Egypt and allows for the formation of the Israelite nation.

Giving of one’s self, financially or otherwise, can have a huge impact. Who knows where one act of generosity, one kind word, one act of giving may lead? May all our gifts make our world a better place.

Rabbi Sandra M. Bellush