Sedra of the week: Vayechi

The latest Jewish News

Read this week’s digital edition

Click Here

Sedra of the week: Vayechi

Rabbetzen Shuli Liss looks ahead to this week's portion of the Torah

“Resentment is like drinking poison and then hoping it will kill your enemies” Nelson Mandela

Having suffered for a large part of his life due to the actions of others, Nelson Mandela is highly qualified to make that statement.

In our own lives, we are frequently affected by the actions of others – both intentional and unintentional.

We may have been hurt many years ago and are still holding on to the pain. It feels like allowing ourselves to let go, permits the offender to escape without consequences for their actions.

Yet, we forget that the resentment harms us more than it hurts them.

In this week’s parsha, the brothers come to talk to Joseph, after their father’s death.

Joseph suffered for many years due to their harmful acts. As a young boy, he was thrown into a pit, sold as a slave, dragged down to Egypt and thrown into prison for 12 long years.

Finally, he was rushed out of prison to explain Pharaoh’s dream, and unexpectedly elected as viceroy to the King.

Now was his chance for revenge. His father was no longer alive, and he had free reign to do as he pleased. His brothers were afraid that he would now repay them for their cruel behaviour.

Yet, the story continues as follows: “And Joseph said to them, ‘Don’t be afraid. Am I instead of God? You intended evil but God meant it for good…'” (Genesis 50:19-20).

Despite the brothers’ intentions, he truly believed that his life’s experience was planned by Hashem and was necessary for the fulfilment of his unique role in this world.

Of course, the brothers had to face the outcome of their plans – but that was not his responsibility.

He knew that resentment only causes self-inflicted pain, and instead he strengthened his faith in Hashem.

It was this faith that carried him and enabled him to find equanimity throughout the most difficult times of his life.

Rebbetzen Shuli Liss, Highgate United Synagogue

Support your Jewish community. Support your Jewish News

Thank you for helping to make Jewish News the leading source of news and opinion for the UK Jewish community. Today we're asking for your invaluable help to continue putting our community first in everything we do.

Unlike other Jewish media, we do not charge for content. That won’t change. Because we are free, we rely on advertising to cover our costs. This vital lifeline, which has dropped in recent years, has fallen further due to coronavirus.

For as little as £5 a month you can help sustain the vital work we do in celebrating and standing up for Jewish life in Britain.

Jewish News holds our community together and keeps us connected. Like a synagogue, it’s where people turn to feel part of something bigger. It also proudly shows the rest of Britain the vibrancy and rich culture of modern Jewish life.

You can make a quick and easy one-off or monthly contribution of £5, £10, £20 or any other sum you’re comfortable with.

100% of your donation will help us continue celebrating our community, in all its dynamic diversity...


Being a community platform means so much more than producing a newspaper and website. One of our proudest roles is media partnering with our invaluable charities to amplify the outstanding work they do to help us all.


There’s no shortage of oys in the world but Jewish News takes every opportunity to celebrate the joys too, through projects like Night of Heroes, 40 Under 40 and other compelling countdowns that make the community kvell with pride.


In the first collaboration between media outlets from different faiths, Jewish News worked with British Muslim TV and Church Times to produce a list of young activists leading the way on interfaith understanding.


Royal Mail issued a stamp honouring Holocaust hero Sir Nicholas Winton after a Jewish News campaign attracted more than 100,000 backers. Jewish News also produces special editions of the paper highlighting pressing issues including mental health and Holocaust remembrance.

Easy access

In an age when news is readily accessible, Jewish News provides high-quality content free online and offline, removing any financial barriers to connecting people.

Voice of our community to wider society

The Jewish News team regularly appears on TV, radio and on the pages of the national press to comment on stories about the Jewish community. Easy access to the paper on the streets of London also means Jewish News provides an invaluable window into the community for the country at large.

We hope you agree all this is worth preserving.

read more: