Is My Father Still Alive?
In this week's Torah portion we learn of the dramatic revelation of Yosef to his brothers that the Egyptian potentate giving them such a hard time is none other than the brother they sold into slavery 22 years earlier. The first words he utters upon telling them that he is the disguised Yosef were "Is my father still alive?"
This seems a strange question to ask of people who have just spoken to him about their father. It may well be then that what he was asking was "Is the spirit of my father still alive within you?"
The name Yisrael, the Torah explains, refers to the successful battles waged by Yaakov against both man and angel. The State of Israel is also waging a battle against the forces threatening its very survival. It is to be hoped that by returning to the sacred spirit of the original Yisrael we can secure Israel forever.