Amidah-Vayigash-Gathering the Joy
“Israel’s sons took their father Jacob and their children and their wives in the wagons that Pharaoh had sent to transport him (Genesis 46:5).”
The sons of Israel understood that Jacob at this moment was filled with the ultimate joy, that after all his suffering, everything had worked out in a fabulous way. Jacob’s sons also understood that they could use this joy to keep the family together and protect them from the destructive influence of Pharaoh, “the wagons that Pharaoh had sent.” They knew that it was only if they carried the entire family together, “Jacob, their children, and their wives,” that they would be able to maintain this powerful connection with God. (Seforno)
“Sound the great shofar for our freedom, raise the banner to gather our exiles and speedily gather us together from the four corners of the earth to our Land.”
“Sound the great shofar for our freedom,” so that we too, may experience the same level of intense joy Jacob experienced at this moment.
“Raise the banner to gather our exiles,” in that joy, just as Jacob’s sons raised and carried all the people of the family.
“To our Land,” a place where we can safely connect to You.
This blessing of the Amidah is the counter-balance to the Siege of Jerusalem of the Tenth of Tevet, when we were gathered in suffering. Focus on this blessing in the days leading to the Tenth of Tevet: “May we be gathered in joy, not suffering.”